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LIBRARY OF THE 
NEW YORK STATE COLLEGE 
OF HOME ECONOMICS 

CORNELL UNIVERSITY 
ITHACA, NEW YORK 




M^ Cornell University 
VM Library 



The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924003540956 



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MEALS MEDICINAL. 



MEALS ^lEDIOINAL: 

WITH 

' HEEBAL SIMPLEST 

(OF EDIBLE PARTS) 

Curatice Foods from the Cook ; in place of 
Drugs from the Chemist. 



BY 

W. T. FERNIE, M.D., 

AiUlior of "Herbal Simples," "Animal Simples," 

'^ Kitchen Physic," etc., etc. 



I ^r^^ '//c/ 



"Bound in vellum, and tied with green tapes," was a small 
booklet, published at Liege, 1610 — " the School of Good Living; beginning 
with Cadmus the Cook, and King, and concluding with the Union of 
Cookery and Chymistry . "^We borrow its exordium to-day. " The writer 
confidently trusts as to his readers that many will be found to kiss this 
little yolume heartily, to thumb all its pages, and to carry it in their 
hands both day and night." 



BRISTOL : JOHN WRIGHT & CO. 
LONDON : SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAinLTON, KENT A: CO., Ltd. 

190.5 



-Li^/'f3l. 



JOHN -VVRIOIIT ANI» CO., 
PRINTRR8 AND I'UBLISHERS, BRIS'l'Oi;. 



TO 

on; "LITTLE MARYS" 

(PLA YinTLLY XAMED) ; 

WITH 

THK HOMAGE OF A LIFE-TIME 

SPENT IN 

THKIR SERVICE. 



PREFACE. 

It is told that Sir Walter Scott, having occasion to seek 
medical aid unexpectedly in a small country town, found a 
doctor there, one John Lundie, a grave, sagacious-looking 
man, a,ttired in black, with a shovel hat, who said, " My practice 
is vera sure : I depend entirely upon twa simples." " And 
what may they be ? " asked Sir Walter. " My twa simples," 
replied John, in a low confidential tone, " are just laudamy 
and calamy." " Simples with a vengeance ! " quoth Scott ; 
'" And how about your patients, John ? " " Whiles they 
dies: whiles no," answered he, "but it's the wuU o' Provi- 
dence." 

Little did the said doctor surmise that, comprehended 
within his two simples, lay many constituent principles owning 
distinct activities, and which have since then become analysed 
into separate medicaments. The laudamy (opium) has been 
iound to comprise no less than twenty-one elements, all with 
divers physical, and chemical properties, (some indeed an- 
tagonistic) ; whilst the calamy is understood now-a-days to 
exercise a wide variety of effects, determinable by varying 
methods of its use : these " twa simples " thus making 
together an ample pharmacopceia of drugs. But those were 
times of comparatively rude physic, and of rough-shod 
medical treatment. 

Our assumption, to-day, is that (in lieu of drugs) an 
adequate sufficiency of component curative parts stands simi- 
larly embodied within most of our ordinary dishes and drinks. 



PREFACE. 



if judiciously appointed and skilfully applied. It rests with 
the enlightened physician, and the well-informed housewife, 
to make themselves practically acquainted with these prin- 
ciples for cure, as possessed by foods and beverages which 
can be specially prepared and prescribed for the several 
maladies as they come under management. In which respect 
we likewise in our case advocate a practice of treating the 
sick and the ailing, chiefly with " twa simples," representative 
of leading kinds, to wit the Cabbage and the Egg. These are 
our laudamy and calamy of to-day, our compendiums of rie- 
storative, sedative, and alterative powers and virtues. The 
Cabbage, as Culpeper reminds his readers (1650), "was, for 
Chrysippus his god, and therefore he wrote a whole volume 
about it and its virtues ; whilst honest old Cato, as men 
said, made use of no other physick." In common with its 
vegetable congeners it affords sulphur, a potential antiseptic ; 
also an abundance of mineral salts for tissue -building and 
repair ; starches, too, as fuel for the bodily combustion ; 
and volatile aromatic oils in rich plenty, as of special virtues 
for subduing and repelling diseases. Similarly concerning 
the Egg, this is aptly pronounced "the only complete food 
afforded by the animal kingdom, for full sustenance, and 
physical curative benefits." It comprehends all the alimentary 
substances required for the support and maintenance of 
animal life ; contained within its body are proteids for 
structural renovation, arsenic, phosphorus, easy to assimilate, 
an antibilious oil of remarkable energy, fats against wasting 
illness, iron to reanimate the bloodless, and lime salts (largely 
present in the shells) to subserve numerous other reparative 
ends. 

But far be it from our meaning to imply that of comes- 
tibles and drinks, besides the Cabbage, the Egg (and perhaps 



PREFA CE. 



Milk, as a third representative support), other therapeutic 
forms of food are lacking, up to any number, from the cook, or 
of healing potions from liquid sources as supplied for the table. 
Convincing evidence to the contrary is borne by the copious 
testimony of the lengthy volume which we now undertake. 
Tt will be found that an entire armament of weapons is 
provided herein, ready at hand for active service alike in 
sickness and during convalescence therefrom. Some of the 
food principles obtained thus, are indeed so potent as to 
become poisonous if accumulating redundantly in the blood. 

"Somnambulism," says Dr. Wynter Blyth, "can be produced 
by starches in excess within the body so as to form amylene ; 
under the influence of which toxin a person will walk about 
unconsciously in the same way as the somnambulist does. 
Afterwards, when the efEect goes ofE, the said person becomes 
all right again." So again a sulphur compound, mercaptan, 
may be produced in the digestive chemistry of certain foods 
which have been taken at table, causing therefrom an intense 
melancholy, almost leading to suicide. " I have no doubt," 
adds Dr. Blyth, " the day is coming when it will be proved 
that several forms of mental derangement are due to 
substances resulting morbidly from food products inside our 
own bodies." 

As long ago as in the seventeenth century the Aqua 
Toffana played a notorious part in serving to destroy (by its 
secret admixture with the Naples drinking-water) more than 
six hundred persons, among whom were two popes. This 
poison is said to have been prepared by killing a hog, dis- 
jointing it, salting it (as it were) with arsenic, and then collect- 
ing the juice which dropped from the meat ; which juice was 
considered far more fatal than an ordinary solution of arsenic. 
Combined therewith was a little plant which is most familiar 



PREFACE. 



to ourselves, — the ivy-leaved toad-flax, (linaria cynibcdaria), 
or "mother of thousands," — growing commonly on old 
garden walls, and now esteemed as harmless, though bitter 
and astringent. Again, our English King John, of disrepu- 
table memory, is recorded to have shut up Maud Fitzwalt«r 
the Fair, in the dingiest and chilliest den of the Tower ; 
and, when neither cold, nor hunger, nor solitude broke her 
strength, while she still disdained his shameful suit, he foisted 
on her a poisoned egg, of which she ate and died. 

The leading motive of the present work is, then, to instruct 
readers, whether medical or lay, how to choose meats and 
drinks, which can afford precisely the same remedial elements 
for effecting cures as medicinal drugs have hitherto been 
relied on to bring about : and which, plus their vital force, 
are of supreme advantage, because energetically derived 
straight from the fresh animal and vegetable sources. So 
that a culinary "Materia Medica " will stand thus com- 
petently and agreeably provided, on which dependence can be 
placed, even with greater trust than on prescribed drugs. 

In previous publications we have discussed at some length 
the groundwork of Vegetable, Animal, and combined Alimen- 
tary Physic. That our Herbal Simples fairly met a public 
requirement in this direction, was proved by the speedy 
demand for two editions of the said Manual, insomuch that 
it has been for the last three years out of print, the publishers 
repeatedly urging a third edition ; and therefore the main 
portions of Herbal Simples .si,Te reproduced in the present 
Meals Medicinal (particularly as regards their curative edible 
belongings). But of our Animal Simples, a,nd Kitchen Physic, 
scarcely any of the same literary substance finds place again 
here, except in brief allusion, and plainly stated as such ; 
furthermore some few of the pleasantries are repeated, for 



PREFACE. 



adding zest to the present fare, with a better savour, like 
that of a twice-cooked curry. "Scepe stylum vertas, iterum 
qucB digna legi sint scripturits .^' 

Having done assiduous scullion service in these three 
branches of medicinal apprenticeship, and thereby acquired a 
skilled knowledge of the complete culinary art, as to its needs 
and methods for the benefit of the sick and the sorry, we now 
promote ourselves to the advanced office of a physician chef ; 
and we proceed to furnish curative nutriment of as finished a 
quality as prolonged experience, and the modern scientific 
progress of the times in such regard, justify us in attempting 
to advance. Our menu provides a complete dispensatory of 
remedial diet, applicable to the treatment throughout of most 
diseases and ailments. Its modus medendi is made lucid 
and plain, so that any intelligent reader may straightway 
pursue its directions. As to our discursive condiments inter- 
posed, such " Digressions," saith Tristram Shandy, " are 
incontestably the sunshine, the life, the soul of reading ; take 
them out of this book, for instance, you might as well take 
the book along with them. One cold, eternal winter would 
reign in every page of it ; restore them to the writer, he steps 
forth like a bridegroom, bids all hail, brings in variety, and 
forbids the appetite to falter. All the dexterity is in the 
good cooking, and management of them, so as to be for the 
advantage, not only of the reader, but also of the author." 
Nevertheless, Si te forte mece gravis uret sarcina chartcB, — 
abjicito ! 

For ourselves we venture to adopt the instructive parable 
related by Saint Luke in his gospel : " A certain man has 
made a great supper, and bids many thereto. He sendeth 
forth his servant to say to them that are bidden, "Come, for 
all things are ready." Idle excuses, let us hope that but 



PREFACE. 



few will begin to make. Else we shall have to seek further 
in the streebs and lanes of the city, for bringing in hither the 
poor, and the maimed, the halt, and the blind ; which being done 
as commanded, there will yet be room. 

Our forefathers did not forget piety in their feasts. At the 
Cloronation of Henry the Sixth, 1429, "After a soteltie (at the 
first course) of Seynt Edward, and Seynt Lewis, armed in their 
cootes of armes," the second course opened with a " Vyaande 
inscribed with the Te Deum Laudamus. " "In the third course 
was again a soteltie of our Lady syttynge, holding hyr child in 
hyr armes, in every hand a crowne, and Seynt George knelying 
on oon syde." Finally then, in the same spirit, we '' Bless 
the Trinity which hath given us health to prosecute our 
worthless studies thus far : and we make supplication with a 
Laus Deo, if in any case these our poor labours may be 
found instrumental to weede out bodily ailments, black 
melancholy, carking cares, and harte grief, from the minds 
of men. — Sed hoc magis volo quam expecto. — /, nunc liber; 
goe forth my brave treatise, child of my labours with the 
pen ; and ye, candidi lectores, lo, here I give him up to you : 
even do with him what you may please, my masters ! " 
"All we know of the matter is, when we sat down, our 
intent was to write a good book : and, as far as the tenuity 
of our understanding would hold out, a wise, aye, and a 
discreet : taking care only, as we went along, to put into it 
the wit and judgment, (be it more or less) which the great 
Author and Bestower of them had thought fit originally to 
give us: so that, as your worships see, 'tis just as God 
pleases." "Take therefore, gentle readers, in good part 
what's projected for thee : so shall our pains not quite want 
their recompense ; nor tliyselves be branded with the base 
mark of mean ingratitude." " Fare ye well ! " 



CONTENTS. 



Abernethy Biscdtt 

Absinthe 

Acetones in the blood 

Acids, acetic - 



I'AGK 

- 102 

16-18 

668, 680 

446 



citric, of lemons and milk 480 



., (lactic) 

., of fruits - 

,, mineral 
Acorn 
Agar-agar 

Air, open, treatment 
Albnmen - 
Alcohol 

in fever 



90 
302 

- 357 
23, 470 

- 633 
524-526 

- 249,713 
353. 660, 735 

- 494 



„ (not with mushrooms) 498 

Ale 31, 92 

„ Kop's - 91,96 

Alkalies 25, 32, 302 

Allspice - 211, 567-654 

Almonds, sweet, 38, 39, 42, 430-505 

bitter 38 

Alum - - 116 

Ambergris 206, 630, 731 

Annatto - 490 

Anchovy - 284, 624 

Angelica - - 42, 431 

Angostura cordial 431, 432 

Animal extracts 14, 42-47 

„ foods 474, 634 

Anise 48, 49 

Ants - 417 

Antiseptics (see Contents). 

Apiol (parsley oil) - - - 382 

Apple 50, 171, 173, 174, 305 

„ cake 306, 307 

„ shape 334, 431 

, „ pie - - 556 

„ water 53, 306 

Apricot 41,449 

Aqua tofjana Preface 

-Vrrowroot - 59 



PA4JK 

Arsenic (in egg) 250, and Preface 
Artichoke, globe - 63 

„ Jerusalem 60-62 

Asparagus 2, 63, 65, 66 

Asafoetida - - 295 

Ass, and milk - 67, 68, 69, 343 

-Astringents (see Contents). 



Bacon 


70 


Bacteria 


- 128 


,, in mouth 


664, 667 


Baking powders 


101, 138 


Balm 


362-364 


Balsamic oils 


- 364 


Banana 


76, 264 


Banting system 


- 674 


Barberry 


78, 224 


Barium 


- 36 


Barley 


79, 81, 442 


„ suaar 


81 


„ water 


81 


Basil 


362 


Bavarian wasps' nest 


136 


Bean 


81 


„ kidney - 


- 82 


Bedstraw, yellow 


148, 149 


Bee 


- 414 


Bee beer 


403-406 


„ sting 


- 405 


„ wax 


406, 407 


Beef 


86-91 


„ extracts 


87, 88 


„ meal powder 


- 571 


„ raw 


2, 86, 87»91 


,, tea 


87, 88, 475 


., steak Club 


- 89 


„ steak mushroom 


- 497,500 


Beer - - 23 


32. 91, 445 


,, lager 


- 91 


„ root 


- 92-^' 


Beet 


- 97 



xiv 


CONTENTS. 






PAGR 




I'AOK 


Beet sugar 


97, 671 


Cakes 


135-138 


Beri-beri 


591 


" Calamy " (calomel) 


Preface 


Berries, hedgerow 


587 


Calf 


470-472 


Biffins 


- 52 


„ feet 


- 333 


Bilberry 


224, 312 


Camembert cheese 


- 156, 157 


Biltong 


- 88 


Canned foods 


313, 693, 694 


Birch 


105, 601, 602 


Caper 


- 138 


Birds 


98-201, 245 


Capsicum 


562, 563 


„ singing 


. 715 


Caramel 


- 465 


Biscuits 


- 101, 10:i 


Caraway 


120, 139, 140 


Blackberry 


103-106, 334 


Carbohydrates 


667, 706, 714 


Blackbird 


- 98 


Carnation 


196 


Black pudding 


2, 626, 627 


Carnivora 


- 711 


Bladderwrack (seaweed) 630-632 


Carrot 


- 140-143 


Blanc mange 


- 332 


Casein 


150-153, 48a 


Blood, animal - 


2, 107 


Cashew nut 


505 


„ of fowls 


295,296 


Cassia 


23S 


Bodily position when costive 275 


Caasareep 


- 564 


Bone 


- 478 


Castor oil 


521, 522 


„ marrow, red 


450-452, 468 


Cataract (see Eyes). 




Borage 


- 214,215 


Caterpillar 


414 


Borax 


491, 582 


Catsup (mushroom) 


497 


Bortoh soup 


97 


Caudle 


143 


Botargo 


592 


„ marrow 


451 


Brain, animal - 


- 109 


Cauliflower 


- 134 


Brandy 208, 


209, 217, 658 


Caviare - 


144, 145 


„ cherry 


- 162 


Cayenne («ee Capsicum). 


„ snap 


- 339 


Cedar 


- 517 


Bread 


109-121 


Celery 


2, 145-147 


„ new 


268 


Cellulose {and see '' Vegetables "). 


bran and potato - - 579 




713, 716. 


„ brown 


112, 114, 119 


Cereals 


14T 


„ sauce 


624 


Cerealin 


115 


„ and meat, in loaf - 475 


Cerebos salt 


- 620 


Brewis 


116 


Chamomile 


214. 644 


Brine 


- 618 


Champagne 


105, 147 


Bristol milk 


492, 493 


Charcoal 


- 34& 


Brose 


509 


Chartreuse 


430, 431 


Broths 


- 121 


Cheese 


147-161 


cockroach 


123, 124 


Cherry 


161-164 


„ chicken 


294 


„ jelly 


334 


„ onion 


- 528 


„ water 


429 


„ against macrophags, 15, 603 


" Cheshire Cheese" tavern - 154 


Bullaoe 


572 


Chestnut 


164-166, 502 


Bull's heart, " cardin ' 


- 48 


„ horse 


166 


Bun 


124, 125 


Chicken {see Fowl). 




Burgundy 


25, 29, 30 


Chicory 


166, 189, 190' 


Butter 126-131, 


264, 381, 482 


Chilli 


566 


„ cocoa 


167 


Chitin 


434 


„ milk 


482 


Chives 


- 533 


,, nut 


505 


Chocolate 


167, 169, 688 






Chowder - 


73. 


Cabbage 131-135, 707, 709 


Chutnev 


- 233 


Cacao 


170 


Cider ' . 171-175,736,737 





CONTENTS. 






XV 




PACK 








I'AliE 


Cigarettes (tea leaf) 


- 698 


Date 






235-237 


Cinnamon 


175-180, 437 


Deer 






324-326 


Clam 


- 547 


Delft 






143, 221 


Clarets 


30, 736 


Dew 






- 526 


" Cleavers" (goosegrass) - 148 


Dextrin and dextrose 




659, 666 


Clove 


180-182 


Diet 






237-242 


Coal tar products - 


- 669 


,, of invalids 






289 


Cocoa - 167-169, 184, 185 


Digressions 






Preface 


„ butter 


- 506 


Dill 






50 


„ nut 


170, 171 


Dillisk 






- 630 


„ „ butter 


- 167 


Dinner 






455-458 


Cochineal 


- 182, 183 


Dog flesh 






69 


Cockle 


183, 184, 286 


Domingo, Hindoo cook 


- 13 


Cockroach 


123, 414, 415 


Dreams 






639, 640 


Cod 


185 


Dripping 






265 


„ liver and oil 


- 185 


Duck 






244 


Coffee 


186-194, 687 


Dulse 






628 


Colours, of red wines 


- 27 


Dutch cheese 






155 


of light 


- 186, 725 










Coltsfoot 


364, 365, 696 


Earth Salts - 






708 


Compressed foods 


478 


Eau suorfe 






- 673 


Confectionery 


195 


Eel 


. 




245, 246 


Consomme 


648 


Egg 2, 123, 


248-257 


727, 728 


Cookery and cooks 




„ silky 






- 207 


6, 9, 12, 13 


, 199-205, 707 


„ shell 




251 


252, 258 


Corn flour 


218 


„ water 




254 


475. 494 


Costmary 


395 


Elderberry tree 




258-261. 335 


Cotiniat (quince) 


450 


., flowers 






- 313 


Cow 


219 


Elecampane 




_ 


261-262 


„ dung poultice 


- 701 


Electricity 




239 


262, 291 


Cowslip - 


220, 221, 426 


„ making 


sugar - 


- 674 


Crab apple 57, 69, 9f?f?, 435 


Endive - 






609, 610 


Cranberry 


223, 225, 308 


English Mercury 






394, 657 


Crawfish 


283, 436 


Epicure 


. 




119 


Cream 


225 


Er3mgo root (Sea Holly) 


630 


„ of tartar 


^ - ' - 3* 


Ethers 






27 


Cresses -2 


t-: -aserlsii 


Evolution 






- 10 


Crust 


116, 118, 124 


Exercise, outdoor 






525, 526 


Cucumber 


229, 230 


Extracts, animal 








Cumin 


233 


13, 42-47 


474 


, 475,634- 


Curaooa 


429 










Curds 


- 150 


Fabinacbous Foods 


(see 


Currants, imported 


230, 231 


Starches) 






267 


black 


309, 693 


Fasting 






- 460 


red and white 309, 313 


Fats 




263-270, 660 


Curry 


231-234 


Fennel - 






270, 271 


„ vegetable 


713 


Fenugreek 






- 233 


Custard powder 
Cuttle-fish 


256 


Fermentation - 






446, 462 


638, 639 


Fig 






272-275 


Cygnet 


234, 235 


„ rock 
„ eaters 






673 
- 274 


Damson 


- 572 


Fir 






93,94 


Dandelion - 194, 


195, 609, 610 


Fish 






275-28^ 


Dantzic water 


430 


„ oils 






264,278- 



xvi 


CONTENTS. 








PAGE 






I'ACiK 


Flavouring agents 


475 


Gruel 




357-359 


Pleas 


370 


,, onion 




528 


Pleece, of sheep 


- 636 


Gruyere clieese 




157 


Flower salads 


613, 614 








Flummery 


- 512 


Haddock 




279 


Foods 


288-293 


Hahbut 




277 


„ compressed 


- 437 


Ham 


- 


- 75 


Forks and knives 


- 203 


Hare - 5, 320-322 


, 359, 433 


Formalin 


- 491,582 


Heart, bullock's 




48 


Formic acid 


379, 380, 405 


Hazel nuts 




- 502 


Fo^*! 


293-297 


Hedgehog 


- 


.359, 360 


„ boiled 


- 470 


Helicin (of snails) 




- 642 


Frog 


299-301, 380 


Herbs 




360-401 


Fruits - 31, 34, 301-305 


Heredotus pudding 


- 


- 273 


„ sugar 


302, 666 


Herring 


276 


285, 401 


Frumenty 


239, 731 


Hips, of roses - 




- 597 


Frying - 


263 


Hock 




25,26 


Funeral tea 


691 


Hoff's malt extract 
Hog lice, millepedes 




444 
216 


Game 118, 


314, 315, 320 


Hollyhock 




- 441 


Garlic 327-331, 531, 532 


Hominy 




218,401 


„ poor man's 


534 


Honey 




402-408 


Ganim (fish sauce) 


283 


,, water 




384 


Gelatin 


- 331 


„ dew 


. 


- 404 


Geranium 


223, 441 


Hop 


243 


365, 366 


Gestation 


526 


„ pillow 




- 366 


Giblet 


297 


Horehound 




- 366 


Gill tea 


- 368 


Horse flesh 




408, 409 


Gin 


335-338 


„ fed on wine 




31 


Ginseng 


--217 


„ radish 




367, 368 


Ginger 335 


338-341, 655 


Hum (Bee beer) 




403-406 


ale . 


- 339 


Humphrey, Duke, dine with - 448 


bread 


338-341 


" Hungary water " 


[rosemary. 


Gizzard, of fowl 


- 297 


etc.) - 




385 


Glucose (grape sugar) 


402, 583, 659 








Glycerin 


637 


lOE 




409 


Glycogen 


541,670 


,, confectionery 




410 


Goat, and milk 


341-344 


Iceland moss 




495 


" Goat's rue " 


- 490 


Imperial drink 




503 


Gold 


603, 680 


Incense 




- 517 


" Good King Henry " 


394, 657 


Indian corn 




218, 401 


Goose, and grease 


345-349 


Inhaler, a simple 




- 374 


Gooseberry 


310 


Insects 




414-417 


Goosegrass 


148 


Irish moss 




496 


Gorgonzola cheese 


156 


Iron, to supply, in foods 




Gospel oaks 


70 




2, 34, 


107, 108 


Grape- juice 


■ 26 


Isinglass 




- .332 


Grapes 126, 


211,349-355 


Ivy, ground 




368, 369 


„ cure 


351, 352 








„ sugar 


- 350 


" Jack by the Hedge " 


- 534 


Gravy 


264, 625 


Jams 


313, 


314, 417 


Groats 


358 


JekyU, Dr., and Hyd 


e 


45, 478 


Grog 


- 20 


Jellies - - 


331-335, 417 


Grouse 


319, 320 


Jeroboam bottle 




23 



CONTENTS. 



Jews', meats 202 

„ fish cookery 281 

John's (Saint) Wort oil - 524 

Julep - 37ii, 737 

Juniper 335, 330, 337 

Junket 481,485 

Kegeeee - 581 

Kidney, animal 48, 418, 419 

King's touch 587 

Kola 168 

Koshir meat - 478 

Koumiss 419, 489 

Kiimmel 430 

Lactic Acid 90, 4S0 

Lactucarium - 425 

Laevulose 302, 066 

Lamb - - 469 

Lamb, Charles, on food 291 

Lamprey 247 

Lanolin (wool fat) 637 

Lard - 7 1 

Lark 98, 99 

Lavender 369,, 370 

Laver 628, ()29 

Lead - 363 

Lecithin - - 249-253 

„ of apples 50 

Leek - 5:^2 

Lemon 420-424, 447 

Lentil - So, 8(» 

Lettuce - 425-427, 612 

Leucocytes - - - 490 
Levurine (yeast) 110,111,737,738 

Liebig's extract of meat - 475 
Light, coloured rays of - 18(1, 725 

Lime 236, 250, 389, 480, 547 

Linseed 427, 428 

Liqueurs 102, 428-430 

Liquorice 371, 372 

Liver, animal - - 433 

Lobster 415, 434, 4:i5 

Locust 414-416 

Lodestone 720 

Lozenges - 430- 437 

Lung, animal (-sec Animal 

extracts) • 14, 47 

Macaroni - - 438, 439 
Macaroon 38, 30, 103, 438, 439 

Mace - - 507 

JIackercl 287, 439, 440 

Madeira wine 29 



Maggi essence 
Magnetism 

,, personal 

Magpie 
Maize 
Mallows 
Malt 
,, extract 
liquor 
Maraschino 
Mares' milk 
Margerine 
Marjoram 
Marmalade 



122 

2(i2 
720 

- 101 
218, 401 

440-442 

- 442 
442-444 

- 23 
102, 429 
419,489 

265 

- 372 
448, 449 

orange 536, 539 

,, parsnip - 551 

,, quince - 212,448 

Marrow, red bone 450-452, 468 

vegetable 710, 711, 717 

Marsala - 30 

Mayonnaise sauce - 623 

Mead - - 405, 406 

Meals - 225, 242, 452 461 

" Meal, Monday " 512 

Jfeats, 

199, 202, 205, 207, 461-479, 618 

Meat extracts 45 

„ pie - 556 

,, powdered 88 

„ raw 200, 474, 476 

,, koshir - 478 

Mebos (apricot) 59 

Medlar - - 308 

Mental emotion, influeucu of, 

by food 6 

Menthol 375 

Mei'captan (of sulphur) Preface 

Jlercury, English 394 

Metheglin - - 405 

Microbes 524, 525, 534, 535 

,, in meat - 463 

Jlilk - - 128, 479 

,, not for adult growlli 480 

,, butter - - 482 

,, curdled, for old age 63 

,, skimmed 488 

,, sour - - 481 

,, sterilized 487, 490 

,, sugar of 470, 494 

,, tuberculous - 492 

Milking machine 490-495 

Millipedes 216 

Slince meat, and pies - 555 

Mineral substances 34, 708 

B 



xviii CONTENTS. 







PAUK 




I'AGE 


Mineral waters 35, 3G, 082, 716 


Opiates " laudamy " 




Pi-cface 


Mints 372-377 


Orange 


447 


, 535-540 


„ sauce 37G 


„ Seville 




- 2 


Moon, influence of 726 


,, peel 




530, 537 


Moss, Iceland 495 


liqueur 




431 


;: Irish (Carrageen) 496 


,, flower 




537 


Motor car, influence of 527 


Organ broth 




373 


Moulds of cheese - 160 


Orgeat - 




81 


Muffin 120, 121 


Orris root 


- 


- 718 


MuQ;wort - - 401 


Oxalates in urine 


389, 


699, 707 


Mulberry 196, 311, 496 


Ox brain (not eatable 




109 


Mullein 696, 697 


,, marrow 




452 


Mullet 284 


,, tail soup 


- 


- 652 


MulUgatawny - 234 


Oyster 446 


459 


, 510-550 


Mushrooms - 496-501 


,, prairie 




546 


,, pears after 308 


„ shells 




547 


not alcohol with - 498 








puff-ball 499, 500 


Panada 




- 120 


Jlnsk - - 180 


Pancreatin 




677, 678 


Mustard, black and white 


Pandowdy (apple) 




- 50 


377-379, 501 


Paraguay tea - 




090, 091 


Mutton - 266, 636 


Parkin, gingerbread 




341, 511 


„ chop 437 


Parsley - 




381-383 




„ with snails 




- 640 


Nastuetitjm - 227 


Parsnip 




550, 551 


Neat's foot oil 519 


Partridge 134, 314, 


315, 


317, 551 


Negus - - 29 


Pasteurised milk 




- 487 


" Nektar " wines, luiferinented 736 


Pastry 


- 


552, 553 


Nettle - 379, 380, 381 


Pate de, foie qras 345, 


346, 


433, 500 


Nonsense, book of - - 84 


Peas ' 82, 84, 86 


, 550-558 


Noyau liqueur 58, 430 


Pea nuts 




504 


Nuclein - - 434 


Peach 




559, 560 


Nuts 501-506 


Pear 




307 


Nutmeg 506, 507 


Pectin - 




140 




Pectoral broth 




528 


Oak Baek 69 


„ tea 




689 


Oat - - 510 


Pellitory lozenges 




- 436 


„ meal 507-513 


Pennyroyal 




372, 373 


„ tincture - 510 


Peppers 




561-567 


Odours and perfumes - 513-518 


Pepper pot 




- 564 


„ ,, strawberry- 


Peppermint 212, 


373, 


374, 430 


leaves decaying 663 


Pepsin ferment 




443-440 


Oils, animal - 619 


Perch 




- 285 


„ sheep's wool (Lanoline) - 637 


Perfumes, and scents 




513-518 


„ cod-liver, and fish 278, 524 


Perry 




308 


„ neat's foot - 519 


Petroleum 


- 


- 333 


„ salad 608-609 


Pheasant 


317, 


318, 319 


„ vegetable 521 


Phosphates, 85, 155, 


291, 


511, 540 


Olive - 655 


„ in Cerebos salt 


293 


„ oil 521, 522 


„ in milk 


- 


- 734 


Omelette - 253,257 


Phosphorus 34, 


110, 


115, 250 


Onion - 2, 328, 527-534 


Pie, beefsteak 




555 


Open air treatment 534, 535 


„ crust 




4 


Opiates, opium G97 


,, Vassar 




10 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Pie, pork 74 

„ onion - 530 

Pig (" roast," C. Lamb) - 72 

Pigeon .■ 567, 5G8 

Pike 280 

Pilchard 285 

Pimpernel - - 229 

Pine - 93, 94, 505 

Pine apple 72, 568-570 

Pippin 54 

Plaice 285 

Planked meat 463 

Plasmon 152 

Plover - - - 255 

Plum - - 309, 310, 572-574 

„ pudding 574 

Poisoning, secret Preface 

Pomatum 56 

Pork 470 

,, parasite of 70 

„ crackling - - - 72 

Porridge -7,508,509,511,584 

Port wine 25, 26 

Porter ■ - 92 

„ fettled 95 

Posset 92 

„ treacle 677 

Potash, and its salts, 32, 33, 34, 116 

151, 152, 579, 609 

Potato 

4, 57"), 376, 579-581, 600, 707 

,, new 577 

,, scoop 581 

Poultices, carrot 141 

„ cow-dung 701 

,, onion 529 

„ various - - 702 

Poultry - 293-297, 470 

Preservatives, in foods, 31(i, 317 

491, 582 

Primrose - 613 

Prostatic animal substance - 47 

Proteids 43, 46, 660, 708 

Prune - 573 

Ptomaines {see Antiseptics). 

Pudding, beefsteak 154 

Puddings 553, 584 

Puff-ball mushroom 499, 500 

Pumice stone, for shaving - 63 

Pulses 

Punch - 209, 210 

„ milk 492 

Pur6es - - - 709 

Purple, of shell fish - 549, 645 



Purslane - 389 

Putrefaction (see Antiseptics). 
Pyrethrum pellitory, Spanish 
chamomile 436 

Quail - - 326, 327 

Quince - - 79,212,447,448 
Quinic acid of fruits 305 



Rabbit - 322, 323, 

„ Welsh 153, 

Radish 

Raisins 213, 

Raspberry 

,, vinegar 

Rat 

Ratafia 38,41,211,429^ 

Rays, curative 
,, red, for smallpox 

Raw meat 200, 

Resin 

Revalenta 

Rhubarb, garden 389, 

Rice 

Ring, golden (for cramp) 

Rob, black currant - 
., (of elderberries) 

Robin redbreast 98 

Roe of fish 

Roquefort cheese 

Rosa solis liqueur 

Roses 



,, conserve of red 
Rosemary 213, 383, 

Rosin - 2!;, 

Rue 
Rum 

„ punch 
Ruskin defying doctors 
Rve 



584, 585 
1.58, l.-)9 
593, 594 
355, 356 
586 
587 

- 554 
, 432,433 

185, 18(i 

725 

474, 476 

- 600 
85,86 

390, 391 

588-592 

680 

309 

- 258 
100 
592 
157 

- 430 
597-601 

600 

- 598 
386. 602 
600. 60 1 

- 392 
210, 570 
210, 570 

- 724 
115,003 



99, 
!76, 



Sacchaein 
Sack posset 
Saffron 
Sage 

,, cheese 
Sago 

Salre (of rice) 
falads 
Salep 

Salicylic acid 
Saliva 
Salmon 



' 609 

211 

213, 604. 605 

3S(i, 387 

158 

606 

- 591 
64, 445, 607-616 

661 
583 

- 668 
287, 288 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Saloop 565 

Salt 289, 348, 585, 616-620, 707 

„ Cerebos 293 

Samphire 629 

Sand bath (marine) 633 

Sandwich - 620 

,, apricot - 621 

„ cotton wool (teeth 

swallowed) - 622 

Sardine - - 521 

Sauces 84, 022, 624-626 

„ bread 624 

,, Cassureep 622 

j „ Mayonnaise 623 

„ Worcester 622 

Sauerkraut 133 

Sausage - 626 

Saveloy 627 

Savoy - 108 

Scarlet runner 82 

Schalot 533 

Scurvy grass 393 

Sea kale 633 

„ tang - 632 

Seaweeds 627-633 

Seltzer water > 35 

Semolina 438 

Serum 15 

for old age - 603 

Shaving (the beard) 384 

Sheep - 633 

„ head 635 

,, fleece - 636 

Shepherd's purse 176, 177 

Shell-fish - - 638 

Sherry 28, 29, 210 

Shrimp 283 

Skilly - - 359 

" Sky blue, and sinkers " - 80 

Sleep 266, 267, 426, 639-641 

,, how much is needed 641 

,, makes brain dull if too 

loner - 640 

Sloe " 309, 572 

„ gin - 658 

Smallpox, red colour for 186, 725 

Snail - 641-647 

„ shells 645 

Sneezing 376 

Snipe 100 

Snitz 306 

Snow cure - 411 

„ legend 412, 413 

Snuff coffee 191 



Snuff, antiseptic 


- 375 


Soap 


36, 37 


„ Alicant 


37 


„ Barilla 


37 


Soapwort 


- 229 


Soda 


32, 38, 147, 683 


,, water 


35 


Sole 


284 


Somnambulism 


- Preface 



Sorrel 388, 389, 390, 427 

Soups 647-652 

„ to prolong old age - 15 

„ Bisque " 283, 436 

,, bird's nest 644 

,, cockaleekie 533 

,, cockchafer 416 

,, cockroach 415 

„ fruit 305 

,, maigre 650 

„ milk 492 

,, mock turtle 649 

,, ox tail 652 

,, potato 650 

„ sorrel 389 

„ soupe au vin - 647 

„ turtle 648-650 

Southernwood 393 

Soy sauce 84 

Spanish onion - - 527 

Sparrow 98, 652, 653 

Spearmint 212; 376 

Spermaceti 266, 731 

Spices - 653-656 

Spider and web - - 415 

Spinach 108, 656, 657 

Spirits 657, 658 

„ silent 658 

„ not destructive to germs 721 

Sprat 284 

Spruce beer 93 

Squab pie - - - 55 

Starches 238, 580, 659-661 

„ " amylene '' Preface 

Starling - 100 

Stilton cheese 155 

Stings, of bee and wasn 380 

of nettle 380 

Stomach bread - 472 

Stout 95, 443 

Strawberry - 661-665 

„ woodland 664 

Strippings (of milk) 487 

Succory . 167 

Suet . - 209, 270 







CONTEXTS. 


xxi 






PACK 




I'AP.r, 


Sugar 2(15 


4S0 


fiS;-), 665-677 


Toxins 


277 


„ beet 




96,97 


Treacle 


(575-677 


,, candy 




428, 675 


Tripe 


473, 474 


„ carrots 




- 140 


Trotter oil 


- 519 


„ grape 




350, 666 


Trowsers 


- 494, 495 


„ of fniits - 




320 


Truffle 346, 


347, 500, 501 


„ of milk . 




- 494 


Turbot 


- 287 


Sulphur 131, 


146, 


377, 693, 699 


Turkey 


295, 298 


„ held in the hands 680 


Turmeric 


- 233 


„ " j\lerca]i 


an " 


Preface 


Turnip 


704, 705 


Sunflower 




61 


Turpentine 


61, 706 


Sunlight 




525, 726 


Turtle 


433, 049 


Swan 




234, 235 


,, soup (and mock) 


649 


Swede turnip 




- 596, 705 






Swretbread 




472, 677-679 


Uranium Wine 


- 737 


Sweetmeats 




195 


Uric acid, 43, 44. 418, 


434, 464, 686 


Syllabub 




- 220 






SjTups 




665-676 


Veal 


- 470-473 


golden 




675, 676 


Vegetables 

,, cooked 


,33, 706-718 
- 200 


Tabasco 




567,612 


Vegetarian 


558, 711-717 


Table scraps 




355 


Venison 


- 324-326 


Tallow 




- 635 


Verjuice " 


7, 58, 69, 222 


Tannin - 




09, 683 


Vermicelli 


438 


Tamarind 




679-681 


Vine 


- 737 


Tansy 




395 


„ sap 


355, 356 


Tapioca 




- 607 


„ vapour ;. , 
Vinegar 24, rtero 


, ,- - 352 


Tar water 




94, 95 


447, 608,718 


Tarragon 




- 396 


Violet 196 


198.614,718 


Tartar, cream of 




- 26. 350 


,, wild (pansy) 


689 


Tea 


18; 


, 081-692, 721 


„ powder 


- 718 


„ cigarettes 




69S 


Vital force 


262, 526, 726 


Teeth, artificial 




665 


of vegetables 708 


Tench - 




288 


Vodka liqueur 


430 



Throat gland, animal 47 


633, 634 








Throat blessing, at 


Candlemas 565 


Walnut 


503 


718-720 


Thrush 


98 


100, (i92 


Walton, Izaak's, Angler, 


• 


Thyme 




216, 563 


222, 281 


370, 


455, 002 


,. thymol 




397, 398 


Warmth {see Fats, as 


produc- 


Thyroid gland, anim 


al (of s 


heep) 


five of) 




263-270 




47 


633, 634 


Wasp sting 




405,414 


Tinned foods 


313 


693, 694 


Water 




721-729 


Toad 




301 


„ glass (for eggs) 




- 257 


Toadflax, ivy-leaved 




Preface 


„ mineral 




35, 36 


Toast 




116-119 


Watercress 




226-228 


,, buttered 




732 


Welsh rabbit 


153, 


158, 159 


„ water 




- 118 


Whale 


- 


729, 730 


Tobacco 




694-699 


Wheat - 


112 


, 731-734 


Sage for 




- 387 


„ cracked 




- 731 


Toffee 




264, 673 


Whelk 




286, 549 


Tomato 




699-704 


Whey 


- 


486, 734 


Tongue, animal 




87 


,, of goat's milk 




342 


Tortoise 




650 


Whisky 




734-736 


Totenism 




324 


Whiting 


281 


285, 286 



CONTENTS. 



Whortleberry 224, 312 

Willow-patteru plate - 739-742 

Wines 22-26, 736 

,, natural and fortified - 21 

„ of Italy, rosined - 26, 601 

„ unfermented " nektar " 736 

,, uranium - - 737 

Winkle - 286, 547, .')49 

Woodcock 98, 100, 323 



Woodruff 
Wood sorrel 
Wool fat 
Wormwood 



Yeast 



PACK 

242, 398 

390 

- 637 

17, 399, 400 



- 110,111,737,738 
„ poultice - 111 

Yourt (curdled milli) 486 



MEALS MEDICINAL 



WITH 



''HERBAL SIMPLES" 

(of Edible Parts.) 



INTRODUCTION. 

The purpose of this Handbook is to explain what are the curative 
constituents of such dishes, and table-waters, as a Doctor can 
adequately order instead of drugs, when prescribing against 
diseases ; these same matters of diet being actually medicinal, 
though in the pleasant guise of eatables, and drinks, to suit the 
palate. It will be found that no reason whatever can be urged 
why curative meals of such a character shall not be always effec- 
tively employed for treating sick persons : indeed, why nauseous 
medicaments shall not be altogether supplanted by savoury pro- 
ductions from the cook, and the vintner. Pursuing which 
methods the Doctor, when minded to administer certain 
remedies hitherto dispensed by the Chemist, will remember, or 
learn (for he does not always know) how to fulfil his object 
far more agreeably through help from the kitchen. Thus, also 
the patient may be led to comprehend how such, and such 
culinary preparations can do him equal good in lieu of repulsive 
doses from the Apothecary ; and he, or she will gratefully accept 
welcome meats, and refreshing drinks, in the place of potions, or 
pills, for curing definite diseases, as readily as for purifying, 
purging, or strengthening the system. Furthermore, after this 
manner the intelligent cook, becoming apprised of the proper- 
ties, and virtues which her roasts, and stews, her vegetable 
purees, and her choice confections, are able to convey, if 

1 



MEALS MEDICINAL. 



thoughtfully admixed, and carefully handled, will gain well- 
merited promotion in the esteem, and approval of those who 
profit by her important domestic services, instead of employing 
the druggist. 

Nearly three centuries back some such an enlightened practice 
of cure was foreshadowed by Dr. Tobias Veuner (1620), " Doctor 
of Physicke at Bathe, in the Spring and Fall." When dedicating 
his " Via Recta ad Yitam longam " to the Right Honourable 
Francis Lord Verulam, Lord High Chancellor of England, " In 
regard," wrote he, " of the worthines, and utiUtie of the subject, 
this is ' the Dieteticall Part of Physicke,' which for preservation 
of health appertaines to all men (but to none, as I suppose, 
more than to your Honour, who, under His Majestic, doth 
chiefly wield the State of our Reipublique"). Again (in 1685), 
Liebnitz, the famous German philosopher, said, in a letter to 
Denis Papin (who invented the Digester which bears his name) : 
" As regards internal medicine, I hold that this is a mere art 
like that of playing nine-pins, or backgammon. I have often 
wished that a skilful physician should write a book ' De curandis 
far dietam morbis,' — about curing diseases by means of the diet." 
" There will come a time," as a recent writer of note predicts, 
" when no medicines will be administered, except in acute, and 
sudden attacks. Disease will be remedied by foods ; the 
intelligent house-mother is testing the value of this assertion 
in the daily ordering of meals for her family, seeing that a newly- 
acquired knowledge of dietetics has put her on the way to such 
enlightenment." Celery, for instance, is found to be so consti- 
tuted as to be curatively efl&cacious for persons suffering from 
any form of rheumatism, also for nervous indigestion, and 
kindred nervine troubles. Water-cress contains principles which 
are remedial against scurvy. Pea-nuts, which are rich in fats, 
and proteids, may be specially commended for the rescue of 
diabetics. Onions are almost the best nervine strengtheners 
known, no medicine being equally useful in cases of nervous 
prostration, or so quick to restore, and tone up a jaded physical 
system. Asparagus, by its alkaloids, will induce salutary 
perspiration. Carrots will relieve asthma. Eggs, especially 
their yolks, will disperse jaundice, and can be given for clearing 
the voice. Instead of iron as a chalybeate, the pulp of raw beef, 
or animal blood in black puddings, will prove an efficient 
substitute ; whilst the bitter Seville orange will admirably 



INTRODUCTION. 



take the place of quinine as a prince among tonics for debilitated 
persons. 

Nevertheless, before the subject of cure, or prevention, of 
disease by a dietary regimen, as skilfully adapted to the needs, 
and condition of patients under their several ailments, can be 
properly mastered, its alphabet of fundamental parts, and 
chemical ingredients must be diligently acquired, at all events 
in outline. Just after the same fashion with regard to our 
daily methods of speech ; in order to talk correctly, so as to convey 
the full significance, and true purport of what is said, the speaker 
must first learn the grammar of sentences, and the etymology 
of words. It is true the colloquial discourse of untutored rustics 
will generally suffice to rudely express the sense of what they 
desire to convey. But this, after all, is only a hit-or-miss method, 
altogether unreliable, and not worthy of imitation. For example, 
the Devonshire rustic says : " I be that fond ov cowcumbers 
I could aight 'um to ivery meal, I could : bat I niver did zee 
nobody zo daainty az yu be : yu carn't aight nort like nobody 
else." Again, a Devon ploughboy, sick with measles, exclaims : 
" Brath ! whot, brath agin ! Why 'twas brath yisterday ! 
brath tha day avore ! brath tu day ! an mayhap 'tweel be brath 
agin tu-morrar ! I'll be darned ef I'll be keep'd 'pon brath ! " 
Or, " Poor old Mrs. Fangdin be gettin' dotty, th'of er've a knaw'd 
a theng or tu in 'er lifetime, za well's Dr. Budd, 'er ave." 

This same art of adapting cookery to the wants of sick, and 
delicate persons was, as we learn from Dr. Thudicum's S-pirit 
af Cookery (1895), systematically treated for the first time by 
Walter Ryfi, in 1669; and again in subsidy at considerable 
length by Scappi, the cook of Pope Paul the Fifth, who gave two 
hundred culinary receipts for the sick, and for the convalescent, 
instructing his pupils that if they omitted these things they 
would fail much in their duty. He therefore described how 
broths, soups, jelhes, barley-water, and such foods should be 
made. He particularly advised light soups concocted of oysters, 
snails, frogs, tortoises, and turtles. 

.lohn Evelyn likewise tells in his Acetaria (1699) : " We read 
of divers Popes, and Emperors, that had sometimes learned 
physicians for their master-cooks ; and that of old an excellent 
cook was reckon'd among the eruditi." 

Sydney Smith, later on, in a letter to Arthur Kinglake (1837), 
advanced a proposition much to the same efiect : " I am 



MEALS MEDICINAL. 



convinced," said he, " digestion is the great secret of life ; and that 
character, talents, virtues, and qualities are powerfully afEeoted 
by beef, mutton, pie-crust, and rich soups. I have often thought 
I could feed, or starve men into many virtues, and vices, and 
afEect them more powerfully with my instruments of cookery than 
Timotheus could do formerly with his lyre. Frequently is it 
that those persons whom God hath joined together in matrimony, 
ill-cooked joints and badly -boiled potatoes have put asunder." 

" There is " (to quote the Lancet, December, 1901) " a striking 
point of view from which the cook may be brought to the aid 
of the practical physician. If, for example, it were clearly 
shown that drugs such as are now used only in formally-prescribed 
mixtures, or pills, are capable of being introduced into the more 
welcome productions of the domestic kitchen, how grateful an 
assistance we should obtain ! It is often difficult, where a 
medicine has to be taken frequently, and over long periods of 
time, to be sure that the patient does not grow careless, or 
forgetful. If, however, instead of taking his draught before, 
or his pill after his daily meals, the said draught, or the requisite 
pill, were (without altering the taste of the dish then served, 
and without losing its own efficacy) combined with the patient's 
dinner, instead of preceding it, or following it, we can imagine 
a far more certain acceptance thereof on his part ; and the 
physician's orders would be more consistently carried out by 
connivance on the side of the cook than they are with the 
co-operation of the chemist. Such a relegation of the dispenser's 
duties to the hands of the chef can only be achieved by famiUarity 
in the mind of the medical man with the work of both his sub- 
ordinates. As to that of the druggist, he is perhaps fairly 
cognizant ; with that of the cook it is to be strongly recommended 
that he shall become more intimately acquainted." 

And, indeed, if only on historical grounds, medical men should 
specially interest themselves in foodstuffs, and their preparation. 
From early times, when the functions of priest, and physician, 
were united in the same man, and when votive ofEerings, and 
therapeutic agents were alike prescribed, and dispensed by his 
hands, the association of the cuUnary, and healing arts has 
been always a close one. There is a fund of useful lore, and 
information, in the old accounts of the various properties, and 
powers with which writers from the earliest times invested 
different articles of diet. Thus Pliny tells it as the opinion of 



INTRODUCTION. 



Cato, that after eating hare, sleep is induced ; but the common 
people rather suppose that after partaking of such food the 
body is more lively, and gay for the next nine days. " This may 
be only an idle rumour ; but still for so widespread a belief there 
must be some foundation." And whether such is really the 
case, or not, an investigation into the exact properties of the 
flesh of various animals, and into those appertaining to other 
articles of diet (as shellfish, for instance, which are known to 
exercise peculiar effects upon certain persons) would not only 
prove of immediate interest, but might lead to results of great 
therapeutic value. " Chemical work of this sort is a most 
fitting direction in which to turn the efforts of such clinical 
laboratories as are sure in the future to be more, and more 
extensively employed in connection with all large general 
hospitals." " There are many widespread beliefs, and theories 
with regard to the efiects of different foodstuffs in health, and 
disease, but exact knowledge on such points is scanty. We 
cannot doubt that in attempting to enlarge, and to define it, 
direct, or indirect results of importance, and utility would be 
certainly obtained." " It is obviously of the greatest moment 
that if a physician orders a medicine he should be able to tell 
that it is duly dispensed ; but this is not feasible unless he could 
dispense it, if necessary, himself ; and, conversely, a man 
familiar with the modes of dispensing will have far wider powers, 
and greater ingenuity, and will apply drugs with more minute 
efficiency than one who prescribes them whilst lacking any such 
intimacy with the materials which he is recommending. A 
similar argument may certainly be applied to the products of 
the kitchen. Yet, if a large number of medical men can claim 
familiarity with drugs, and the methods of dispensing them, 
few, we imagine, will assert an intimacy with these processes 
of the kitchen, or even to any considerable extent with the 
materials which are used therein, and the daily employment 
whereof they may have many times advised. No doctor can 
ignore the importance of diet both in health, and in disease ; and 
the cook may well be regarded as a chief officer in the service of 
medicine, curative or preventive. It is, without doubt, in the 
daily provision of wholesome, digestible dishes that the main 
function of the kitchen lies. Nevertheless, no medical man 
can afford to neglect its aid when he is reckoning up his thera- 
peutic resources ; and more particularly to-day, when the use 



MEALS MEDICINAL. 



of animal extracts in medicine has become so prominent, should 
the importance of the kitchen be properly recognized." 

There is an indisputable measure of truth in the allegation 
that the qualities of the food afiect both mind, and body. Buckle 
[History of CivUization) took this view, when trying to show that 
the character of a people depends much on their diet. The 
theory he has advanced is that the properties, and virtues, or 
vices, of what is eaten pass into the system of the eater ; confir- 
matory of which view an incident has lately been made public 
of an English gentleman at Shanghai who, at the time of the 
Taeping attack, met his Chinese servant carrying home the 
heart of a rebel who had fallen in fight, and which he meant 
to eat in order to make himself brave. Thus, too, a well-known 
Professor of Medicine at BerUn used to say in his lectures, that 
" a doctor ought to be at home, not only in his laboratory, but 
likewise in the kitchen " ; the truth of which dictum is occasion- 
ally apparent when practitioners, in prescribing diets for patients, 
are embarrassed by questions relative to the proper methods 
for cooking the same. The great majority of medical men are 
unable to give precise instructions to a cook ; while, nevertheless, 
on the other hand, many unqualified practitioners impress the 
pubUc mind by affording careful directions as to the preparation 
of foods for the sick, who therefore prefer to consult these 
irregular advisers. Recently two ladies in Berlin, superinten- 
dents of Cookery Schools for young women, have arranged to 
give special courses there for doctors. " This oSer," says The 
Lancet, " should be heartily welcomed by those who think that 
medical training in such respects ought to be much more 
practical than has hitherto been the case." 

At the International Health Exhibition, London, 1884, 
Dr. Andrew Blyth, in his authoritative manual issued by the 
Council, concerning " Health by Diet," wrote prophetically of 
a time, which is now happily at hand after twenty years of steady 
medical progress. His admirable publication began with these 
words : " When by successive researches the Science of Diet 
has become better understood, without doubt a School of 
Physicians will arise, discarding all drugs, and treating maladies 
by cutting off certain foods, and by surfeiting with others ; if, 
indeed, there is not at the present time ready formed in the 
highest representatives of modern medicine the nucleus of this 
future School of Dietetics. There are diets suited for every age, 



INTRODUCTION. 



for every climate, for every species of work, physical, or mental ; 
there are diets by which diseases may be prevented, and cured ; 
there are diets fitted for some constitutions, injurious to others ; 
diets which make the skin glossy, the frame vigorous, and the 
spirits joyous ; others which mar the face with wrinkles, speckle 
the body with eruptions, and make the form lean, hollow, and 
prematurely old." 

Two or three classes of disease may be taken as forcibly illus- 
trating the importance of treating them specially by foods such 
as are particularly indicated during their pathological course. 
Hippocrates thought most highly of good judicious feeding in 
fevers, recommending wine, and the ptisan of barley (which we 
now call gruel), so made that it " may be thin, but not too thin : 
thick, but not too thick." Dr. R. Graves, 1848, again, has ren- 
dered himself famous by maintaining not only in words, but 
also in deeds, that the feeding of fevers is the most essential 
feature in their cure. His plan was to restrict the patient only 
for the first three or four days to gruel, barley-water, and whey, 
proceeding quickly after this time to chicken broth, meat jelly, 
and strong soup ; the great art of duly nourishing fever patients 
consisting, as he taught, in giving a frequent, almost continuous, 
supply of liquid nourishment containing very soluble ahments, 
in a dilute form. " Let it be the chief aim to restore that which 
the thoughtful observer can clearly see is passing exhaustively 
away, — nitrogenous tissue." Likewise with regard to hysterical 
affections, such as hypochondriasis, and others of a like nature, 
a generous nitrogenous diet is essential in their treatment, 
particularly in one pecuHar form of this malady which arises 
from eating too sparingly of vegetables, and too abundantly of 
meat. It is distinguished by the high specific gravity of the 
urine, mounting from 1025 to 1035, as dependent on the presence 
of urea alone, in excess, and no sugar. There is in these cases 
often a remarkable lassitude, and even an apparent paralysis 
of the limbs occurring suddenly after exertion, and sometimes 
there is bodily wasting ; both of which symptoms usually lead 
the patient and his friends to attribute the morbid state to 
insufiicient nutrition, and therefore to increase more and more 
the proportion of meat in the food, in despite of the ailment 
becoming aggravated thereby. A rapid cure of such a patient 
will attend the diminution of the meat meals to one daily, and 
the supplying their place with plenty of well-made porridge. 



MEALS MEDICINAL. 



and of green vegetables. Similarly, the advantage of treating 
many persons commonly insane through an ill-fed brain, by 
an ample and nutritions diet is daily forcing itself more and 
more on the convictions of the proprietors of lunatic asylums, 
though their business interests would, of course, prompt them 
to an opposite course of proceeding. 

Once more, as to unsound states of the heart, the dietary of 
persons having this organ imperfect of function, or structure, 
should be more nitrogenous than if they were healthy in such 
respect. " What we have to dread," says Dr. Chambers, " is 
the wasting degeneration of the heart's muscular walls ; for, 
until such -degeneration ensues the original lesion is not aggra- 
vated, and the constitution will often become so used to the 
altered mechanism of the heart, that no inconvenience of any 
sort is felt ; if the muscular structure remains healthy, the 
injured valves do not seem capable of causing the organ to stop 
in its pulsations. Persons in easy circumstances have valvular 
lesions for years and years, perhaps through the greater part of 
a long life, and not only continue to live, but even fail to experi- 
ence symptoms bad enough to make them consult a doctor. 
Now the main hope of warding ofE this wasting degeneration 
Hes in the maintenance of a full, generous diet, easily digested, so 
as to keep the blood red, and fluid for the continuous repair of 
the endangered muscle. But in the reverse condition of heart, 
when there is a state of habitual high arterial pressure, as proved 
by the hard pulse, and the tense circulatory conditions, then 
boiled fish once a day is the best animal food. Such a state of 
high pressure will be probably depending on a want of elasticity, 
or tone in the coats of the arteries, increased perhaps by the 
contact of blood surcharged with waste products of nitrogenous 
food. And for such symptoms it would be altogether wrong to 
allow strong meats, or any alcoholic drinks." 

" It is remarkable " {Medical Press, 1902) " that physicians 
and hygienists but rarely venture to face the realms devoted 
to the culinary art. The medical practitioner often blames 
the drains, or complains of the drinking-water, or grumbles 
at the lack of fresh air ; but when does he venture to enquire 
into the ways, and means of the cook ? " " There would 
be no difiiculty in showing that the selection, preservation, 
preparation, and serving of the food of a household are among 
the most vital factors in influencing its health. The main part 



INTRODUCTION. 



of the problem of life can be expressed in terms of food, whilst 
much of the indisposition, and many of the minor ailments of 
everyday life, are directly the outcome of a neglect of hygienic 
practice in the kitchen. If the illnesses met with in ' high life ' 
are to be efiectually dealt with, the ignorance, and neglect often 
made manifest in ' low life ' must not be forgotten. We hope 
the author of Kitchen Physic (1901) will see fit to supplement 
his discourse by a work dealing with Kitchen Hygiene." 

Accordingly, such a compendium of explanatory dietetics 
is now undertaken, with the conjoint purposes of enUghtening 
the cook, of treating diseases by efiective medicinal constituents 
given at table, and of helping the doctor with points of 
reference ready at hand concerning the meals which he may 
best advise for each case as it comes before him. Moreover, 
he will thus become further furnished with a serviceable 
stock of culinary suggestions, suitably adapted for such 
patients as seek his help by correspondence : in which way, 
when economy of time for immediate study, and research, 
is an object (the attention being, moreover, of necessity otherwise 
occupied), important questions concerning appropriate forms 
of sustenance can be expeditiously solved by a ready reference 
to our Manual. 

" But now the Cook must pass through all degrees, 
And by his art discordant tempers please, 
And minister to health and to disease. 
Homer, less modem, if we search his books 
WiU show us that his Heroes all were Cooks : 
How lov'd Patroclus with Achilles joins 
To quarter out the ox, and spit the loins." 

In the earher ages of the world, no palled appetites are recorded, 
but such as proceeded from the decays of nature by reason of 
an advanced old age. On the contrary, we are told of a hungry 
stomach even upon a deathbed, as with patriarchal Isaac. Nor 
were there other sicknesses but the first, and the last. For two 
thousand years, and upwards, there were no physicians to 
prescribe for ailing persons, nor any apothecaries to compound 
distasteful medicines. Food and physic were then one and the 
same thing. Primeval mankind, gaunt, brown, and savage, 
in a state of nature, fed upon roots, fruits, vegetables, and 
wild animals, aU without culture, or cooking. By-and-by, 
through the transference of the digestive work — in part to the 
sun as a cooking power, and partly to fire in a like capacity — 



10 MEALS MEDTCINAL. 

some measure of his released physical energy, together with an 
increase of intellect, became wrought in man, and this lessening 
of the digestive strain had more than one marked efEect on his 
body, and physical aspect. The heavy, protruding jaws, once so 
necessary for masticating huge quantities of coarse innutritions 
food, became smaller, and more receding ; whilst along with 
this recession of the jaw there was produced a progressive, or 
forward, and upward growth of the brain — the lower giving place 
to the higher — the animal to the man : whereby we see that the 
advancement of the human race has been largely the result of 
diet. Manifestly, then, the course of our own evolution depends 
on ourselves ; we may, according to our own conduct day by 
day, be building up a better body, and a better mind, or else 
one that shall be worse than the fair promise of the original 
germ. And, therefore, it is self-evident that the philosophy of 
preparing such materials as go to build up, and renew the body, 
and the brain, must be well worthy of the most careful study ; 
which philosophy is the Chemistry of Cookery. Eight deservedly, 
then, by a parity of reasoning, does Dr. Rabagliatti, of Brad- 
ford make it to-day a leading aphorism of modern medicine, ttiat 
" Morbi a qui non mederi victu fossunt, vix, vel maxima cum 
difflcultate, medendi aunt " — " those diseases which cannot be 
cured by victuals are scarcely curable anyhow." 

Moreover, this substitution of medicinal constituents for cures 
by foods, instead of by physio, has its humorous side ; at least so 
think our American cousins, (who are up to date in such respects), 
with their " Vassar Pie " : — 

" Give me a spoonful of oleo, ma, 

And the sodium alkali, 
For I'm going to make a pie, mamma, 

I'm going to make a pie : 
Poor John will be hungry and tired, my ma. 

And his tissues will decompose ; 
So give me some grains of phosphate, 

With carbon, and cellulose. 

Now hand me a chunk of casein, ma, 

To shorten the thermic fat ; 
And pass me the oxygen bottle, ma. 

And look at the thermostat : 
And, if the electric oven's cold. 

Just turn it on half an ohm, 
For I want to have supper ready, ma, 

As soon as John comes home. 



INTRODUCTION. 11 



ProTide me the neutral dope, mamma. 

Give a turn to the mixing machine ; 
But hand me the sterilized water first. 

And the oleo-margarine ; 
With the phosphates, too ; for now I think 

His mate in the office has quit, 
So John will need more phosphate food 

To help his brain a bit." 

It frequently becomes the duty of a doctor to see that the diet 
of his weakly patients is enriched in special directions, most 
commonly perhaps in those of light meats, and fats. But of 
course to advise chicken, and cream for a man with a slender 
purse would be a useless proceeding ; he simply could not afford 
to buy these luxuries. It is therefore worth while to remember 
that cheaper sources of the necessary building material are to 
be found in skim milk, in such oily fish as herrings and sprats, 
sound new cheese, and the more easily negotiated pulses, as 
lentils, haricot beans, etc. ; whilst very economical forms of 
digestible fat — as Dr. Hutchison teaches — are margarine, and 
good dripping. On the contrary, with regard to drugs, which 
are costly, " there is not in all the Pharmacopceias a single 
active article, which has not in conjunction with its virtues 
the vice of deranging more or less the gastric digestion. It is 
this which makes it a medicine, and not a food." 

Concerning diet as contravening the symptoms of diseases, 
Dr. Merriman, of Ohio, wrote thus {Medical Record, 1902), 
" The point I wish to make is this, that in my opinion the time 
is ripe for an entire revolution in the administration of drugs. 
The proper ingestion, and the proper digestion of food, constitute 
the most successful field of healing now known to man. Why, 
therefore, should not every well-informed physician write 
prescriptions exclusively for foods, whilst prohibiting those 
articles of diet which are known to induce conditions causative 
of the malady he is anxious to cure ? Is not this the opportune 
moment for the physiological chemist to furnish reliable data 
upon which each physician may construct a suitable diet for 
every patient, or group of patients 1 Correct dietaries for the 
brain-worker, the manual labourer, and the average citizen 
whilst in good health, have been accurately estimated by the 
scientific experts in Government employ ; but the properly 
adjusted diets for patients troubled with gout, rheumatism, and 
allied illnesses (due mainly to harmful products retained within 
their bodies, and which must be helpfully neutraUzed, whilst their 



12 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

future formation is likewise prevented) are still but imperfectly 
understood by tbe average medical practitioner." " Give us 
good Cooks," writes Dr. Kellog, of Michigan, " intelligent cooks, 
cooks who are thoroughly educated, and then the cure of 
nine-tenths of all the dyspeptics may be guaranteed, without 
money, and without medicinal treatment." Again, " those bodily 
infirmities to which so often a constitutional bias is inherited 
from birth, such as consumption, rheumatism, and gout, may 
be prevented from development, or held in complete check, by 
the discipline of diet pursued from childhood, and with a healthful 
relish. Instead of having to learn painfully, and laboriously 
throughout the proverbial first forty years of his life, how to 
become his own physician (or to remain a fool), every man may 
take practical heed to the lessons which our pages shall plainly 
teach, and may steer clear of peril throughout a prosperous 
physical course of years from infancy to the said meridian of life, 
and onwards to a robust old age." 

" A good Coke," saith Dr. Andrew Boorde, 1536, in his Dyetary 
of Helthe, " is half a Physycyon." 

" Fair woman, could your soul but view 
The intimate relation 
'Twixt food and fate, there'd be a new, 
And higher dispensation. 

Could you but see for " destiny " 

A synonym in dinners, 
And what the kitchen's alchemy 

Can make of mortal sinners, 
You'd leave odd fads, and learn to bake 

A loaf, and cook a " tater " ; 
To roast a joint, or broil a steak. 

Than which no art is greater ! 

' Man cannot live by bread alone,' 

'Tis well and wisely spoken ; 
But make that bad, he'll die unknown. 

And give the world no token 
Of high ambitious potencies. 

Or genius' slumbering fires, 
Inbred in him through galaxies 

Of grand illustrious sires ! 

Then all ye dames, and maidens fair, 

Who burn with high ambition. 
Who crave to nobly do your share 

To better man's condition, 
You'd give us, could your soul but view 

The intimate relation 
' Twixt food and fate, — ere long — a new 

And higher dispensation." 



INTRODUCTION. 13 



" There are," according to Dr. Thudicam, " cynical persons 
who profess to despise, or, at all events, rate lowly the liking for 
good food which the French call fricandise." Such a refinement 
of food, however, is not only the efflux of culture, but also has 
an important influence on the mind, and coasequently upon 
the abilities, and manners of a man. " Tell me what you eat, 
and T will tell you what you are," (to paraphrase a saying con- 
cerning the influence of the company you keep) is equally true 
here. Many persons mistake a natural desirable daintiness for 
gluttony, or gloutonnerie, as Montaigne once termed it " la science 
de la gueule," or, " the science of the gullet." We hold absolutely 
with the gonrmandise des esprits delicais : if this cannot be 
satisfied, then vitality is diminished, and life is shortened. The 
wit of the Parisians has embalmed for themselves la fricandise 
in an imperishable form. ' " Avoir le nez tourni a la fricandise 
comme St. Jacques de V Hospital," is an expression to the point, 
derived from an image of St. Jacques de I'Hospital placed over 
the building of that name, near the Eue des Oies, at Paris. In 
this street were the shops of the principal meat roasters, and as 
the saint in effigy looked in the direction of the frying shops, he 
was said to have " le nez tourni a la fricandise." 

That cookery can be made almost a fine art even by mere intu- 
ition has been exemplified humorously in Behind the Bungalow 
(1892), where Domingo, the barefooted, native, untaught Indian 
servant, exhibits a wonderful fecundity of invention, and an 
amount of manual dexterity marvellous to behold. And the 
wonder increases when we consider the simplicity of his imple- 
ments, and materials. These consist of several copper pots, a 
chopper, two tin spoons (which he can do without), a ladle made 
of half a cocoa-nut shell at the end of a stick,, and a slab of stone 
with a stone roller on it ; also a rickety table (a very gloomy, 
and, ominous-looking table, whose undulating surface is chopped, 
and hacked, and scarred, begrimed, besmeared, smoked, oiled, 
and stained with the juices of many heterogeneous substances.) 
On this table he minces meat, chops onions, roUs pastry, and 
sleeps ; a very useful table ! He takes up an egg, gives it three 
smart taps with the nail of his forefinger, and in half a second 
the yolk is in one vessel, and the white in another. The fingers 
of his left hand are his strainer. From eggs he proceeds to 
onions, then he is taking the stones out of raisins, or shelling peas. 
Domingo observes no such formula as that of the English cookery 



li MEALS MEDICINAL. 

book, " Wash your hands carefully, using a nail-brush," but 
wipes his fingers frequently upon his pantaloons, which are blue 
checked, of a strong material made for jails, and probably in 
two pairs, the sound parts of one being arranged so as to underlie 
the holes in the other." But this is by way of a diversion, as 
touching our main argument. 

Again, in China, as Dr. MacGrowan, of Shanghai, relates, " little 
distinction is made between "materia medica," and "materia 
alimentaria" ; certain curative properties being ascribed to most 
articles which are used as food. Nearly all portions of animals 
(the human frame included) are supposed to be efficacious in 
the treatment of disease. Some of such animal substances are 
macerated in fermented, or distilled liquors, and are termed 
" wines ; " thus there are mutton wine, dog wine, deer wine, 
deer-horn wine, tiger-bone wine, snake wine, and tortoise wine." 

In a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medicine recently 
presented to the University of Paris, M. Jean Barrier has 
embodied the results of a historical research as to the therapeutic 
preparations of animal origin employed dietetically by the 
ancients. In the Asclepeia of Greece bull's blood, and ass flesh 
were prescribed for consumptives. Preparations of serpent 
were also largely in use. Hippocrates, although he mostly 
used simples, occasionally prescribed ox-gall, the dung of asses, 
and goats, etc. Celsus recommended fox's liver, or lung, in 
asthma, and the hot blood of a newly-killed gladiator in epilepsy. 
Pliny's Natural History is an encyclopaedia of organo-therapy. 
From him we learn that the ancients used certain glands of the 
hare, the stag, the horse, the pig, and the hysena, as aphrodisiacs, 
and as remedies for epilepsy, a disease for which the human 
brain was also employed. Renal colic was treated with hare's 
kidneys, boar's bladder was in repute for dysuria, the hysena's 
heart for cardiac palpitation, the partridge's stomach for cohc. 
Similar food-medication found favour with the Arabian phy- 
sicians. Albucasis taught that the human brain could be 
nourished, and strengthened by eating cock's brains ; hen's 
gizzard was excellent for the stomach ; in short, each organ 
could be kept in order, or functionally improved by the adminis- 
tration of the corresponding organ of an animal, served at table. 

To sum up our subject — vitally important as it is — the foremost 
advance of modern science now at length holds out a promise of 
prolonging healthy life by a suitable broth, far beyond the present 



INTRODUCTION. 15 



limit of threescore years and ten, or fourscore years " with 
labour and sorrow." Here steps in M. Metctinikofi (Professor 
at the Pasteur Institute,) with a new theory abounding in hope, 
and courage. " Old age," says he, " results because of our 
protective white corpuscles in the blood having devoured all 
their habitual enemies the microbes, and being compelled at last, 
for lack of other nourishment, to batten upon the nobler organs 
of the human frame. In a few years, we predict that at the 
Pasteur Institute, or elsewhere, we shall discover a serum, or 
animal juice, or gravy, which will supply these white corpuscles 
with their necessary food, thereby preventing exhausting 
demands on the bodily organs, and will thus prolong the vitality 
of heart, and brain, and lungs in the human individual." En 
attendant, my friends, return to nature (and abjure drugs !), lead 
a simpler life, diminish the number of your desires, and learn 
that old age will then cease to be an infirmity. Honoured, 
useful, in full possession of all his faculties at six. score years 
and ten, the greybeard of the approaching future will be among 
the most enviable of mankind." " The fact is that only one man 
in a million at present dies a natural death. We should live until 
one hundred and forty years of age. A man who expires at 
seventy, or eighty is the victim of an accident, cut off in the 
flower of his days ; and he unconsciously resents being deprived 
of the fifty years, or so, which nature still owes him. Leave him 
a while longer, and in due season he will desire to depart, as a 
child at bedtime desires to sleep. 

To " Go thy way then," shall be our final exhortation. " Eat 
thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart. 
Let thy garments be always white ; and let thy head lack no 
ointment." " A merry heart doeth good like a medicine ; but 
a broken spirit drieth the bones." 



16 



MEALS MEDICINAL. 



ABSINTHE. 

Absinthe is a liqueur used largely in France, being concocted in 
the main from tte herb Wormwood (artemisia absinthium) which 
yields an essential oil consisting chiefly of absinthol. This oil 
is the basis of the said liqueur, the efiects whereof, when taken 
to excess, are frequent giddiness, and attacks of epileptiform 
convulsions. Much diluted doses of the liqueur, if carefully ad- 
ministered, will materially relieve ailments of this same char- 
acter which are determined by physical irregularities within the 
body. One teaspoonful of the absinthe twice a day with a 
wineglassful of cold water for an adult patient. 

The original absinthe was a harmless medicament, prepared 
and used by a French physician named Ordinaire, who was living 
as a refugee in Switzerland at the close of the eighteenth century. 
He was a country doctor, and a druggist, cultivating in his little 
garden the herbs for making absinthe, then without alcohol. 
But the French " absinthe " of to-day is a highly aromatic, 
intoxicating liqueur, of an opahne green colour, and with a bitter 
taste. It is prepared by steeping in alcohol, or strong spirit, 
certain bitter herbs, of which the chief are artemisia absinthium, 
and artemisia mutdlina, with artemisia sficata, each a wormwood. 
The mode generally practised of drinking this liqueur is by adding 
it to water, drop by drop, or by allowing it to trickle through a 
funnel having only a minute opening below ; thus prepared, it 
is styled " la hussarde," and is commonly supplied in the cafes 
of France, Italy, and Switzerland. 

When indulged in as an appetizer by connoisseurs, absinthe, 
the " fairy with the green eyes," is modified by admixture with 
anisette, and is of note as an " agreeable and bronchitis-palliating 
Uqueur." If served sparingly at table, and not taken habitually, 
it soothes spinal irritability, and gives tone to persons of a highly 



ABSINTHE. 17 



nervous temperament, acting closely after the manner of those 
alkaline bromides which constitute drug remedies as prescribed 
almost specifically for these same bodily ailments. Suitable 
allowances of the diluted Hqueur will promote salutary perspira- 
tion, and may be given, moreover, for successfully expeUing 
intestinal worms. The use of Absinthe as a stimulating dram, 
with comforting effects, prevailed at one time amongst French 
soldiers at Algiers, but led to baneful results because taken too 
freely. It is now, therefore, forbidden throughout the French 
army. 

Wormwood, as employed in making this liqueur, bears also the 
name " wermuth," or " kee-p mind " (preserver of the mind), 
from its supposed medicinal virtues as a nervine, and mental 
restorative. 

Inferior Absinthe, such as is retailed at the popular bars, and 
cheap cafes in Paris, and the French provinces, at three halfpence 
the glass, is generally adulterated with copper for producing 
the characteristic green colour. To swallow repeated doses 
of this pernicious stuff in the early morning is called " killing 
the worm." Inveterate absintheurs are found to drop down 
dead in the streets every day that dawns in Paris, either from 
apoplexy, or because of heart failure ; yet merrily " strangling 
the parrot " (as the term goes) is continued, and jests about 
" taking the blue " are as lively as ever ! Unhappily, too. 
Absinthe may now be bought at most of our London West End 
public houses, and even the most casual observer can notice in 
these places that the absinthe habit is growing in our midst. 
To order an absinthe is regarded as a mark of some distinction. 
"Yet," said The St. James's Gazette, August 7th, 1902, "Absinthe 
is a liqueur which is particularly unsuited to the English tempera- 
ment, except for medicinal uses under the guidance of a skilled 
doctor." The intensely bitter taste resides in its " absinthin." 

Pepys tells in his Diary, November 24:th, 1660 : " Creed, and 
Shipley, and I to the Rhenish Wine House, and there I did give 
them two quarts of wormwood wine." " Medical observation 
in France " (says Herbal Simfles) " shows that this liqueur 
exercises through the pneumogastric nerve a painful sensation 
which has been taken for that of extreme hunger. The feeling 
goes ofE quickly if a little alcohol is then given, though it is 
aggravated by cofiee : whilst under an excessive use of absinthe 
from day to day the stomach will cease to perform its duty. 



18 - MEALS MEDICINAL. 



an irritative reaction will come on in the brain, and the effects 
of blind drunkenness follow each debauch." Nevertheless, a 
controversial statement of quitfe an opposite character has been 
recently made in France by M. Cusenier, a manufacturer of 
absinthe, who attributes the superiority of his famous collection 
of live stock to the use for them of this liquor. He says he has 
made a practice of liberally feeding his rabbits, poultry, and 
guinea-pigs with oxygenated absinthe, and has produced the result 
that his creatures thrive much better than those of his neighbours 
using other nutriments. " The people," says he, " of the wine 
and spirit-making departments of France, where absinthe is 
the favourite beverage, are remarkably robust, and healthy." 

By means of experiments on dogs. Professor D'Ormea has 
lately learnt that Absinthe, in common with the essences of 
aniseed, lemon, mint, and cinnamon, but more potently than 
these, has a very decided effect on the circulation of blood in 
the brain. They severally exercise a chemical action on nerve- 
centres which govern certain blood vessels in the brain-substance: 
and they may therefore be used remedially for such a purpose. 

ACIDS 

See Fruits (Apple, Geapb, and Lemon) ; Vinegar (Malt). 

ALCOHOL. 

This is chemically a toxin of the yeast plant, as the spirituous 
product of vinous fermentation (whereby are given intoxicating 
properties of varying relative strength to ardent spirits, wines, 
and malt liquors, the same product being powerfully stimulating, 
and remarkably antiseptic). There are different grades of 
alcohol, according to the source from which they are respectively 
derived ; as "grain alcohol," prepared from maize, or other grain ; 
" root alcohol," from beets, and potatoes ; and " moss alcohol," 
made in large quantities from reindeer moss, and Iceland moss, 
in Norway, Sweden, and Russia. Such spirits as whisky, gin, 
and brandy contain from 40 to 50 per cent of absolute alcohol 
most wines contain from 7 or 8 to 20 per cent ; and malt liquors 
from 2 to 10 per cent. Each molecule of alcohol consists of 
two atoms of carbon, six of hydrogen, and one of oxygen ; it 
contains no nitrogen. When taken into the body alcohol burns 
by the carbon being set free and then combining with the oxygen, 
precisely as when paraffin is burnt in a motor car, being a source 



ALCOHOL. 19 



of energy ; alcohol can be made to burn thus within the human 
body to compensate for the wasteful expenditure of animal 
heat in fevers, when digestion is arrested, and fails to furnish 
caloric. Nevertheless, during health only a limited quantity 
of alcohol can be burnt within the body each day, at the rate 
of not more than an ounce and a half of whisky, or brandy ; this 
quantity being well diluted, and taken in doses of half an ounce, 
at intervals of at least four hours. Such a quantity is all that 
the average man of normal temperature can utilise ; any 
excess beyond it will be harmful as a positive poison. Then 
again, alcohol is only a false stimulant, its action as such being 
in reality a protest of the heart's muscular walls against the 
noxious irritant; and such stimulation is invariably followed 
by a corresponding subsequent depression. As a drug, alcohol 
vexes the heart, which then sends blood with a rush to stagnate 
within the outermost blood-vessels in the skin, causing this 
briefly to feel warmer, though the internal body sufEers a cold 
enfeeblement of the general circulation. Indeed, this loss of 
heat inside the systetn is so devitalizing that it often predisposes 
to pneumonia. Thus it comes about that the net result of 
taking alcohol, in whatever form , is to lower the inner tempera- 
ture of the body. It is true that by dilating the blood-vessels of 
the general skin-surface a deceptive sense of warmth is induced 
because of the increased heat given off, for a short time only, 
by radiation, though alcohol does not really keep out the cold, 
but sufEers the heat of the body to sensibly escape through the 
skin. During fevers, therefore, alcohol often renders helpful 
service by unlocking the surface blood-vessels, and thus setting 
free the mischievous, superabundant heat. If a person has been 
already exposed to chilling cold, and the blood has been repelled 
into the internal organs so as to stagnate there, with threatened 
congestion, then the timely administration of alcohol in a hot 
drink may save the situation by restoring a proper distribution 
of blood throughout the whole body. So that by all means let 
alcohol be thus taken when the person comes indoors wet, and 
shivering ; but it must be carefully avoided when proceeding 
out of doors to encounter frost, and rain, whilst the internal 
temperature would become lowered by any such a dram. 

Alcohol has been proved to possess the power of producing 
antitoxic effects of an active sort against the tubercular disease 
of consumptive sufferers. If dock labourers who indulge 



20 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



freely in alcoholic drinks, become affected by pulmonary 
consumption, it is found that (in spite of their harmful alcoholic 
excess) the mortality from this disease is less among those who 
drink heavily than in the more moderate imbibers. The alcohol 
a])pears to efEect under certain circumstances a neutralization 
of tuberculous poison in the system ; it acts further by serving 
to block up the blood-vessels around the diseased parts of the 
lungs, thereby isolating these infective parts ; so that (as 
certain modern physicians pronounce) in all probability a 
plentiful (but not immoderate) use of alcohol promises true 
benefit for cases of actual tubercular consumption. 

We may conclude generally that alcohol is an unnecessary 
article of diet for persons in complete health (though a moderate 
use of natural, sound wine seems to augment the agreeables 
of life). As regards the form in which alcohol may be best used, 
malted hquor seems most suitable for youth, wine for middle 
hfe, and spirits to be reserved for the aged. It cannot be said 
that alcohol is favourable to the production of perfectly sound 
brain work. Out of 124 instances (leading men in literature, 
science, and art) who were consulted on this question, none 
ventured to seriously recommend alcohol as a useful aid to the 
performance of mental labour. It is rather under conditions 
just short of health — in overwork, fatigue, and feeble old age — 
that the beneficial effects of alcohol become most marked, and 
chiefly by aiding digestion ; therefore it is most profitably 
taken with meals only, in such quantity, and of such sort, as are 
best borne by the individual patient. But for aged persons 
with whom, by reason of their arteries being stiff through 
senility, and their circulation otherwise impeded about the 
surface of the body, a laborious action of the heart occurs under 
alcohol, with a liability of its walls to become dilated, then 
this is certainly questionable, particularly in the shape of ardent 
spirit ; possibly some generous, well-matured wine of subdued 
alcoholic strength may be more safely allowed. 

With regard to the taking of alcohol with water at night as 
grog for inducing sleep, when this has become difficult, or 
disturbed, any such practice is ordinarily a mistake. For natural 
sleep the brain should be comparatively bloodless ; but a 
spirituous beverage as a night-cap produces quite the opposite 
effect ; if the grog is strong, a measure of narcotism, and stupor 
may simulate sleep, but the penalty will be exacted afterwards 



ALCOHOL. 21 



by reactionary depression. Only will a moderate allowance 
of alcohol at night be beneficial, when the general circulation 
is so weak, and inefficient at the end of the day, with depressed 
vitality, coldness, and feeble action of heart, that blood stagnates 
passively about the brain for lack of sufficient power to propel 
it onwards from the heart, and nervous centres. . Under such 
a condition of things, then alcohol may be judiciously given, 
and will promote better sleep on rational grounds. 

Boswell, talking to Dr. Johnson about the ethics of drinking, 
said, respecting himself, " I am a lover of wine, and therefore 
curious to hear what you say remarkable about drinking." 
This was a-propos of a story as to Dr. Campbell quaffiing thirteen 
bottles of Port at a sitting. " Sir," said Dr. Johnson, " if a 
man drinks very slowly, and lets one glass evaporate before he 
takes another, I know not how long he may drink. Nevertheless, 
wine gives a man nothing, but only puts into motion what has 
been locked up in frost. A man should so cultivate his mind 
as to have without wine that confidence, and readiness which 
wine gives." Someone then suggested, " It is a key which 
opens a box, but the box may be full, or empty." " Nay, Sir," 
said Johnson ; " conversation is the key ; wine is a picklock 
which forces open the box, and injures it." 

Dr. Thudicum, in his Treatise on Wines, avers : " We have 
never known an authentic case of delirium tremens produced 
by drinking, in whatever excess, natural wine. Further, the 
habitual consumers of natural wine enjoy a remarkable 
immunity from gout, gravel, and such calculous formations 
as arise from the uric acid disposition ; but no such immunity 
accompanies the use, or abuse of fortified wines." 

Alcohol has surprisingly little effect by itself on the chemical 
processes of digestion. The immunity of the gastric jaice 
within the stomach from the action of alcohol thereupon is very 
striking. It is also a decided antiseptic. But with gouty, 
diabetic patients alcohol is likely to act harmfully by delaying 
the disintegration which should occur of starchy, and fatty 
foods into their nutritive elements. Similarly, also, it hinders 
elementary changes in animal foods with gouty persons. Again, 
for female difficulties of monthly function copious hot drinks 
which are non-alcoholic prove most serviceable, by promoting a 
general opening of the skin pores throughout the entire surface 
of the body, and thus relieving internal congestions which are 



22 MEALS MEDICINAL 

attending the periodical epoch. To be sure, a. stiff glass of gin 
and hot water given at the outset will seldom fail to confer ease 
and comfort, and to tide the patient over the immediate 
paroxysms of pain ; but we cannot make sure that the single 
tumblerful of hot toddy taken in this way once a month will 
never be exceeded, or will not seductively lead to frequent 
future similar indulgences. Otherwise the remedy is an 
excellent one. Dr. Hutchison thinks that for diabetic persons, 
who are not also gouty, or of feeble digestive powers, alcohol 
may be very useful as a food, a source of energy, and an econo- 
mizer of the proteids ; further as helping materially in the 
digestion of fat. 

Fifty, or more years ago our forefathers would drink liberally 
of Port wine (then of excellent quality, and therefore compara- 
tively harmless), even whilst sojourning at one of the former 
famous hostelries. Thus, Mr. Pickwick, when taking up his abode 
for a time " in very good, old-fashioned, and comfortable quarters, 
to wit, the George and Vulture Tavern (City of London), had 
dined, finished his second pint of particular port, pulled his 
silk handkerchief over his head, put his feet on the fender, and 
thrown himself back in an easy chair, when the entrance of 
his man-servant, Sam Weller, aroused him from his tranquil 
meditations." Far less satisfactory, however, was the fare 
provided at the " Great White Horse," Ipswich (1828), where, 
" after the lapse of an hour, a bit of fish, and a steak were served 
up to the travellers (Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Peter Magnus), who, 
when the dinner was cleared away, drew their chairs up to the 
fire, and having ordered a bottle of port (of the worst possible 
kind, at the highest possible price) for the good of the house, 
drank brandy and water for their own." Again, " at Mrs. 
Bardell's house with the red door, in Goswell Street, the hidden 
treasures of her closet comprised sundry plates of oranges and bis- 
cuits, also a bottle of old crusted port, that at one-and-nine, with 
another of the celebrated East India sherry at fourteenpence, 
which were produced in honour of the lodger, and afEorded 
unlimited satisfaction to everybody." 

We are reminded, as the reverse of this picture, by Dr. King 
Chambers, when talking about the mighty hunters, and stalwart, 
robust herdsmen of wild, uncultivated nations, " that as soon as 
coming within the tide of civilization (and alcohol) the day goes 
against them : they fade away childless under our very eyes, 



ALCOHOL. 23 



like that vast American tribe of which it is said the only extant 
remnants are a chief, a tomahawk, and six gallons of whisky." 

It is remarkable that the common Acorn, as produced by our 
English Oak tree, has a property which will serve to antidote 
the effects of alcohol. A distilled spirit should be made from 
acorns, as the " sfiritus glandium quercus," which will materially 
help to control an abnormal craving for intoxicating liquors ; 
also, if taken in doses of from five to ten drops two or three times 
a day, this spirit will prove of immense aid in subduing morbid 
symptoms resulting from abuse of alcoholic drinks. 

With our forefathers an old-fashioned, capacious wine-bottle 
was in vogue, known as a Jeroboam, being so called after the 
King who made Israel to sin. There was so much wine in such 
a big bottle that the topers were made drunk thereby, seeing 
that when once the cork was drawn the bottle coald not be 
closed again. A Jeroboam is the largest bottle known. Rubaiyat, 
of Omar Khayyam, the Persian poet, so eloquently and faithfully 
translated by Edward Fitzgerald, glows with fervour about 
good liquor : — 

" Here, with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough, 
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse, — and thou 
Beside me singing in the Wilderness, 
And Wilderness is Paradise enow." 

Beer, as mentioned by Herodotus, was brewed in Egypt 2,000 
years ago. Sir Cuthbert Qiiilter has found at Luxor, on a 
monolith, the bas-relief of a tankard. Before the time of 
Elizabeth beer was drunk new in England, but in her day the 
farmers had become particular as to maturing their beer, and very 
choice in their ale ; they named their best October -brewing " Mad 
dog," or "Angels' food," or "Dragons' milk," " Merry-go- 
cound," and other endearing, or facetious appellations. Ladies 
during the eighteenth century, who were accustomed to drink 
ale, or small beer, or broth at breakfast, did not take kindly to 
tea when it was first introduced as a beverage. We read that 
the family of John Wesley drank small beer at every meal. 
They " bless'd their stars, and called it luxury." The addition 
of hops first (1524) converted our English ale into beer. 

Sound beer should be only acid enough to slightly redden 
test-paper of litmus when dipped therein. As Dr. Chambers 
admonishes, " the first thing to be guarded against in malt liquor 
is sourness, or, as it is technically termed, hardness. All beer 



^4 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

will turn into vinegar after a time, but some brews undergo this 
degenerative change muchjuore quickly than others, from having 
been run into dirty vats. In most of the popular London 
breweries the brewers calculate that the beer which is made 
will be consumed so quickly that the presence of a little more 
or less vinegar does not signify, and they brew daily in their 
vast vats still reeking so strongly of acetic acid that you 
cannot open your eyes when holding the face over these vats. 
And yet some of these reckless brewers occupy a most respectable 
position in society, go to church, and never ask forgiveness 
for the sickness, poverty, and misery they may have caused 
by their wilful negligence in this regard. There is no more 
fertile cause of gout, rheumatism, diseased heart, dropsy, and 
the premature death of the robust working man, than this beer, 
just on the turn, and ready to become thick vinegar in the 
stomach." 

The famous Philip Dormer Stanhope (Lord Chesterfield), 
in one of his noted " letters " to his son Philip Stanhope (1874), 
says : "I hear from Duval, the jeweller, who has arrived, and 
was with me three or four days ago, that you are pretty fat for 
one of your age ; this you should attend to in a proper way, 
for if while very young you should grow fat it would be trouble- 
some, unwholesome, and ungraceful. You should therefore, 
when you have time, take very strong exercise, and in your diet 
avoid fattening things. All malt liquors fatten, or at least 
bloat, and I hope you do not deal much in them. I look upon 
wine and water to be in every respect much wholesomer." 

" But what is CofEee but a noxious berry 
Born to keep used-up Londoners awake ? 
What is Falerniau, what are Port and Sherry, 
But vile concoctions to make dull heads ache ? 
Nay, Stout itself (though good with oysters —very !) 
Is not a thing your reading man should take : 
He that would shine, and petrify his tutor 
Should drink draught AUsop in its native pewter." 

Though, as a quaint saying puts the matter pithily, " He who 
drinks beer thinks beer." 

As concerning wines of various vintages, the leading character 
of a wine must be referred to the alcohol which it contains, and 
upon which its stimulating, or intoxicating powers chiefly depend. 
In the stronger ports, and sherries there is present from 16 
to 25 per cent of alcohol ; in hocks and clarets from 7 per cent 



ALCOHOL. 25 



upwards. The principal modern wines are Port, Sherry, 
Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Madeira, Rhine, Moselle, 
Tokay, and Marsala. Sherry and Port are fortified wines ; 
Claret and Hock are natural wines. " On the chemistry of food- 
digestion in the stomach wines exercise a retarding eSect out 
of all proportion to the amount of alcohol which they contain ; 
that produced on the second digestion by the stomachbread 
(pancreas) is to be accounted for by their acid qualities." 
Dietetically most wines are of equal value, provided they are 
the products of a favourable season, being pure, and free from 
fungous defects. It nevertheless by no means follows that 
because of hindering digestion in some respects, wines are 
altogether to be prohibited with meals ; seeing that by increasing 
the appetite, and thus inducing a larger secretion of gastric 
juice, they may, if taken in moderate quantity, not only 
neutrahze any arrest of the digestive chemistry in the stomach, 
but are likely to actually accelerate that function on the whole, 
and to make it more comfortable than it would otherwise be. 
" This, indeed," says Dr. Hutchison, " is one of the most 
useful actions of wine, both in health, and in disease." The 
stimulating action of a wine fortified with alcohol is to be 
considered twice as great as that of a natural wine. The acids 
of wine are chiefly present in the form of bitartrate of potash 
(cream of tartar), which eventually goes to increase the alkalinity 
of the wine ; since the organic acids and their salts, which are 
combinations with earthy bases, as contained in wine, become 
converted within the body into alkaline compounds, and are 
excreted as such by the kidneys, and other outlets. It has been 
truly said " the human brain, and the human stomach are the 
only analysts which never make mistakes." Hock, for instance, 
which is a .rather acid wine, if freely imbibed, tends to prevent 
the precipitation of gouty uric acid in the urine. And the same 
result follows cider-drinking as a rule ; persons who use this 
beverage freely are not troubled with gravel ; indeed, they are 
found to possess a special immunity from that grievance, for 
the cider not only makes the urine less acid, but also considerably 
increases its volume. It has been proved that as a matter of 
fact the most acid wines are not those which are most generally 
credited with producing gout. Possibly it is the combined 
presence of both sugar and acid in the wine for the time being 
which makes the sweet drink harmful to the sufierer from gouty 



26 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

indigestion ; and there is a likelihood, as we cannot deny, of 
secondary fermentation being then set up in the wine after it 
reaches the stomach. Be the explanation what it may, the 
gouty subject does wisely to avoid the fortified wines, unless 
when they have become very dry ; otherwise the indigestion 
which ensues may set gout going viciously in the system. 

Mattieu Williams explains, concerning the " cookery of wines," 
that he " feels quite safe in stating that the average market 
value of rich wine in its raw state — speaking of it as produced 
in countries where the grapes grow luxuriantly, and where the 
average quality of the wine is consequently superlative — does not 
exceed sixpence per gallon, or one penny per bottle ; in saying 
which he is speaking of the best, and richest quality of wines, 
(of course, without including fancy vintages, or those specially 
produced in certain select vineyards of noted Chateaux), and he 
refers to 90 per cent of the rich wines that come into the market. 
So that, to tell the truth, the five shillings paid for a bottle of 
good Port wine is made up of one penny for the original wine, 
another penny for the cost of storage, about sixpence for duty, 
and cost of carriage to this country, and twopence for bottling, 
making a sum of tenpence in all ; therefore it follows that the 
remaining four shillings and twopence are charged for " cookery," 
and wine merchants' profits." 

The grape juice, which by fermentation makes wine, contains 
chiefly grape sugar, together with one part of fruit sugar, also 
albuminous matters, and the acids (principally tartaric, and 
tannic). This juice is obtained by crushing the grapes, usually 
by treading, so as to avoid squeezing the stalks, and stones 
too thoroughly. Hock is a Rhine wine, originally produced 
at Hockheimer, on the right bank of the Maine, but now the 
name is applied to any white German wine : it means literally 
" high home." Hocks are pale wines, and contain scarcely 
any sugar ; they are really not more acid than claret. In 
Butler's Hudibras we read of this wine as having restored the 
high and mighty when faint : — 

" And made 'em stoutly overcome 
With baokrach, hockamore, and hum." 

The rosined wine which is served in the South of Europe has 
an admirable antiseptic virtue ; though a British pedestrian, 
when he first quenches his thirst at a Tuscan farm, or rustic 



ALCOHOL. 27 



inn, is apt to exclaim that the landlord has drawn the wine in 
a varnish pot, and to sneer accordingly at this balsamic " Vino 
Vermuth." But the taste is well worth acquiring by thirsty 
souls in warm climates, and merits the patronage of philan- 
thropists, for it cannot be doubted that the wholesomeness of 
many Greek, and ItaUan native drinks is due to their being 
preserved from decay and secondary fermentation, by their 
rosin, in place of fiery and fuseUy spirit. The large quantity of 
this wine habitually consumed without prejudice by its admirers 
is very remarkable. Six years ago there was living, and perhaps 
still lives, at Menidi, near Athens, a priest, over ninety years 
of age, who from early manhood had drunk a dozen bottles of 
wine every day, partly at meals, and partly at odd times. The 
American Consul ascribes this venerable toper's toughness to 
the special quality of liis liquor. 

The ethers of wines are volatile, and fixed ; they confer much 
of the bouquet, particularly the oenanthine, or oenanthic ether. 
Port wine contains a large proportion of such ethers, especially 
the "fixed." 

The colour of red wine is due to a pigment in the skins turned 
red by the acids of the grape juice, whilst the colour of white 
wines is caused by the oxidation of tannic acid in the cask. 
Different yeast plants adhering to the skin of the grapes dis- 
tinguish different wines, which are first put into cask for some 
years and then bottled, the formation of ethers still going on. 
But it is a mistake to think that wine will continue to improve 
for an indefinite length of time ; it is liable eventually to decay 
by the slow process of complete oxidation. Nevertheless " what 
magic there is in an old bottle of red wine ! How beautiful it 
looks as the light shines through it ! An old bottle of red 
wine ! For years it has lain in the darkness, and rest of the 
cellar. For years there has been ripening within it a slow, 
soft life-warmth ; a magical, fine spirit that will evoke for you 
dreams, and half-dreams of an entrancing sort. This old bottle 
of wine holds imprisoned within it a kindly genie which will 
transport you back to the balmy past — a past from which the 
bitterness has vanished. This kindly genie will soften for you 
the present ; and he will show you the glimmer, and the wonder 
of the future ! An old bottle of red wine ! It is 4 precious gift 
that comes from out the divine essence of the earth ! A fine 
elixir ! It cheers and befriends, and soothes. It awakens in man 



28 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

his larger and more potent self. It unravels, and unweaves 
before him fine thoughts — strange, curious thoughts. It unlocks 
the mind's marvellous, and mysterious recesses. It enriches, and 
enripens the personality. Under its genial spell a man becomes 
gay ; a man becomes wise with the profound wisdom of tolerance ; 
he laughs ; his wit sparkles ; a power new, and exalted is given 
unto him ; he feels the glow of fraternity ; he is brought within 
the circle of a benignant kindly magic ; the cares of yesterday 
are gone ; the cares of to-morrow have not yet come ; the 
present is full of rare, and beautiful colour ! Wine ! Give me, 
I beseech you, an old bottle of choice red wine." 

But, as some persons persist in supposing, far more durable 
and sentimentally refined is the bouquet of the purer liquor 
at a temperance banquet : — 

" We bid you to a wineless feast. 
And string our noble lyre. 
Our blood is warm enough at least. 
Without the vintage fire : 
Affection's subtle alchemy 
Repeats with touch divine 
The miracle of Galilee, — 
Turns water into wine I " 

Respecting which miracle, as runs an Eton tradition, the single 
line was found written on the paper of a schoolboy (Tierney) 
who had failed to accomplish further verse-composition : — 

" Gonscia lympha Deum vidit, et erubuit." 
"The modest water saw its Lord, and blushed." 

" Sherry," according to Sir Wm. Roberts, " as used dietetically , 
frequently exercises an important retarding efiect on the digestion 
of food in the stomach. Half-a-pint of such wine is no unusual 
allowance at dinner with many persons, this being in proportion 
to the whole meal (at an estimated total of two pounds in its 
quantity by weight) about 25 per cent — a very obstructive 
proportion ! In the more common practice of taking two, or 
three wineglassfuls of sherry with dinner we may notice probably 
a double action, — both a stimulating efiect on the secretion of 
gastric juice as well as on the muscular contractions of the 
stomach, and a shght retarding efiect on the speed of the 
digestive chetnical processes, especially at their early stages. 
In still smaller quantity (a wineglassful, or so) sherry acts as a 
pure stimulant to digestion ; though in connection with any such 



ALCOHOL. 29 



dietetic use of sherry remembrance must be held that it exercises 
a strong arresting effect (by its free sugar, and its acidity) on the 
conversion of bread, and other farinaceous foods by the sahva 
into dextrose. But sherry is superior to the other fortified 
wines as to the rapidity with which it develops the volatile 
ethers. Therefore it is an appropriate stimulant for benefiting 
certain sorts of infantile, and youthful debility, as well as nervous 
failure in the digestive functions of enfeebled old invalids. 
Sherry ( Vinum xericum), the wine of Jerez, in Southern Spain, is 
commonly much manipulated. Negus (an Indian drink) is made 
with white wine (Sherry or Marsala), sugar, and lemon-juice, with 
ginger and a little nutmeg being added, whilst steaming hot water 
serves to complete this fragrant cordial restorative, of moderate 
alcohohc strength. At Jerez, Sherry is the common everyday 
drink of working persons, as well as of the upper classes : and 
their general good health, with an immunity from rheumatism, 
or gout, is proverbial. It is then a dry natural wine, the most 
refreshing and wholesome of drinks : whereas the Sherry 
exported to this country is sweetened, and loaded with 
spirit. 

Elderly persons sometimes cannot fall asleep for a long time 
after getting into bed, and become worn out with restlessness, 
and with tossing about. This misfortune may generally be 
obviated by their taking an egg, hghtly boiled, or a plain chicken 
sandwich, or some equally simple, yet nutritive little repast 
the last thing at night (supposing no previous sohd meal has 
preceded this by at least a couple of hours), accompanied by 
half a tumblerful of hot wine and water, or negus, or a glass 
of sound, light, bitter beer. Sweet, fortified wines are specially 
to be chosen for this purpose, as Malaga, or Port, or Sherry. 
Likewise good Burgundy, warmed, spiced, diluted, and sweetened, 
makes an excellent night-cap. Madeira, again, another fortified 
wine, will exercise soporific effects either as a separate, but 
treacherous, potation, or when mulled (Latin mollire, to soften) 
with spices ; the devotees of which wine aver that it should smack 
of the cockroach. At the Hop Pole Inn, Tewkesbury, where 
Mr. Pickwick, with Mr. Benjamin Allen, and Mr. Bob Sawyer, 
stopped to dine, " there was more bottled ale, more Madeira, 
and some Port besides, and here the case-bottle was replenished 
for the fourth time ; under the influence of which combined 
stimulants Mr. Pickwick, and Mr. Ben Allen fell fast asleep for 



30 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

the next thirty miles, while Bob, and Sam Weller sang duets in 
the dickey." 

Of Champagne, the best varieties are obtained from Rheims. 
and Epernay in France. It should be a natural wine, con- 
taining from nine to twelve per cent of alcohol ; but what is 
now drunk in England as Champagne is mostly a brandied 
wine. The amount of sugar in this wine varies from nil up 
to 14 per cent. Most of the Champagnes now in vogue, even 
those which are high-priced, are fortified up to 12 per cent 
of absolute alcohol, and are unworthy of choice, or salutary 
drinking. 

Marsala is a Sicilian wine, and sweeter than Sherry, whilst 
containing less of the volatile ethers which characterize the latter. 

Claret, probably named from clairet, a thin vin ordinaire, is 
produced in Medoc, of which district the seaport is Bordeaux. 
It is a pure, natural wine containing from 8 to 1.3 per cent of 
alcohol, with a high proportion of volatile ethers. Burgundy re- 
sembles claret, but is richer in extractive matters, and is of higher 
alcoholic strength. Beaune and Chambertin are the wines of 
this kind most to be commended. Claret contains no appreciable 
amount of sugar. For the invalid it should be a good wine as 
to its choice, otherwise it cannot be genuine. The cheap Clarets 
are concocted of grape-spirit, colouring matters, sugared water, 
and, some brandy, making up all together a clever imitation 
of the natural wine. A true Claret will not cost less than from 
four to five shillings a bottle ; it should have a raspberry flavour, 
and is more astringent than Burgundy, but not with tannin, 
like tea. Though Claret seems to the palate more acid than 
Port wine, it is really not so. Any fortified wine taken after 
Claret would stultify its salutary effects. Louis the Fifteenth, 
of France, asked Richelieu about the wines of Bordeaux, and 
was told respecting its various vintages, the wine of Upper 
Burgundy being finally said to be superlative : " One can drink 
of this as much as one will," said Richelieu ; " it puts people 
to sleep, and that is all." " Puts people to sleep, does it ? " 
answered the King ; " then send for a pipe of it." It is supposed 
that there is now too much Vin Ordinaire in France, owing to 
growers having abandoned " vin de luxe." One proprietor 
is known to be giving common wine to his horses as part of their 
diet. This was done likewise in 1874, and 1875, when the vine 
harvests were specially abundant. The horses require to become 



ALE. 31 

habituated to the wine by having part of their corn steeped in it, 
and putting this at the bottom of the manger below other corn 
untreated ; then the proportion of corn with wine is gradually 
increased until the horses come to like it. Some horses are thus 
led on to drink wine almost pure, and even to enjoy it. They trot 
very well on the strength imparted by the wine, although their 
ration of corn is diminished in proportion. M. Monclar has 
given wine to draught horses, and finds that barley, or other 
grain, with such wine is about as stimulating as corn. Dr. Tobias 
Venner, in his Via Recta ad longam Yitam, said at that time 
(1620) : " There are also other French wines (would to God 
they were so common as Claret) which for pleasantnesse of taste, 
mediocrity of colour, substance, and strength, doe for most 
bodies (for ordinary use with meates) far excell other wines, 
such as are chiefly Vin de Congry and d'Hai, which to the Kings, 
and Peeres of France are in very familiar use. They notably 
comfort the stomacke, help the concoction, and distribution of 
the meates, and offend not the head with vaporous fumes. They 
are regall wines indeede, and very convenient for every season, 
age, and constitution, so they might be had." About a temperate 
use of wine Androcides was wont to say unto Alexander when 
being about to drink the same : "0 rex, memor sis te terrw 
sanguinem bibere." 

Hungarian wines are very fine, natural wines, red and white, 
almost free from sugar, and of moderate alcoholic strength. 
Italian wines are natural, with a rather high acidity, and a 
moderate percentage of alcohol. Australian wines are full- 
bodied, containing rather more alcohol than most clarets. 

The juices, fermented or unfermented, of certain fruits, or plants, 
prepared in imitation of wine produced from grapes, are of home 
manufacture as sweet wines, being sparingly alcoholic, if at all, 
whilst they embody, sometimes curatively, the herbal virtues of 
the distinguishing fruit, or other vegetable product which is the 
basis of the brew, such as cowshp, currant, elder, gooseberry, 
raspberry, rhubarb, etc. 

ALE 

{See Alcohol and Beer.) 

Ale is beer of a certain strength, hght in colour, being brewed 
from malt dried at a low degree of heat. Andrew Boorde, in 
1542, distinguished ale (as made of malt, water, and nothing else) 



32 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

from beer as brewed with malt, hops, and water. The hop 
converted our English ale into beer. But the terms ale, and beer 
are really synonymous now as applied to the paler malt liquors, 
whilst the darker drinks are porter, and stout. These latter 
are made in the same way as ale, or beer, but the malt is first 
roasted in cylinders, much as cofiee berries are treated, which 
process has the effect of producing some caramel (or partially- 
burnt sugar) ; also by killing the fermenting principle this 
prevents further production of sugar in the mashing. It is 
probable that a tumblerful of good, brisk ale may actually help 
digestion by increasing the appetite, and calling out a more 
abundant secretion of gastric juice, with more active movements 
of the stomach. But malt liquors must be regarded as frequent 
predisposers to gout by provoking acetous fermentation in 
persons liable thereto. 

ALKALIES IN FOODS. 

The alkali. Soda (sodium), which is most necessary in the body 
for the proper constitution of its fluids, is derived chiefly from 
animal foods, this being taken in the chemical form of chloride 
of sodium, or common salt ; whilst the alkali Potash (potassium), 
which is essential for the renewed construction of cells, perhaps 
also of the red blood corpuscles, and of the muscles, is got more 
abundantly from the vegetable group of foods. Green vegetables, 
and ripe fruits are a particularly valuable source of potash salts. 
A craving for table-salt as an addition to the diet specially 
prevails among vegetable feeders. If it be wished, by the use 
of alkalies, to prevent the gouty formation of uric acid sediments, 
as gravel, and the like, or to gradually dissolve such concretions 
as have already become formed in the bladder, it will certainly 
be more rational to prescribe a diet of fresh fruits, potatoes, 
and other such vegetable products than to order alkaline mineral 
waters, or medicines, which, if taken constantly, are likely to 
create all kinds of irritative disturbances in the blood. 

Speaking generally, it is not to the laboratory of the chemist 
we should go for our potash salts, but to the laboratory of nature, 
and more especially to that of the vegetable kingdom. They 
exist in the green parts of all vegetables ; but we wastefuUy 
extract a considerable proportion of these salts when we boil the 
vegetables, and throw away their potage, which our wiser and 
more thrifty French neighbours add to their everyday menu. 



ALKALIES IN FOODS. 33 

When we eat raw vegetables, as in salads, though, not converting 
their starch elements into soluble dextrin, especially if vinegar 
is added, yet we obtain all their potash constituents. Fruits, 
taken generally, contain important quantities of potash salts; 
and it is upon these vegetable products that the likely victims 
of gouty acid formations should especially rely ; lemons, and 
grapes contain the same most abundantly. It should not be 
forgotten that nearly all the chemical compounds of potash, 
as they exist in fruits, and vegetables, are acid. But these 
organic acids become disintegrated in the body by their com- 
bustion, and then leave alkaline residual bases. Far difierent is the 
case with vinegar, and the mineral acids, which are of fixed 
chemical composition, and remain acid throughout. 

Mattieu Williams teaches, in his Chemistry of Cookery (1898), 
that the saline constituents of vegetables (which are usually 
boiled out in the cooking water) are absolutely necessary for 
the maintenance of health ; without them we become the subjects 
of gout, rheumatism, lumbago, gravel, and all the ills which 
human flesh, with a lithic acid disposition, is heir to. The potash 
of these salts existing in the vegetables, as combined with organic 
acids, is separated from these acids by organic combustion, and 
is straightway presented as an alkali to the baneful gouty acid 
of the blood, and tissues, the stony particles of which it converts 
into harmless, soluble lithate of potass, and thus enables them 
to be carried out of the system by the urine, the skin, and other 
channels. " I know not which of the Fathers of the Church 
invented fast days, and sowpe maigre, but I can almost beheve 
he was a scientific monk, and a profound alchemist, like Basil 
Valentine, who, in his seekings for the " aurum fotabile" the 
ehxir of life, had learnt the beneficent action of organic potash 
salts on the blood, and therefore used the authority of the 
Church to enforce their frequent use in vegetable foods among 
the faithful." The proper compounds to be produced are those 
which correspond to the salts existing in the natural juices of vege- 
tables, and in flesh, viz., compounds of potash with organic acids, 
such as tartaric acid, which forms the potash salt of the grape ; 
such again, as citric acid, with which potash is combined in lemons 
and oranges ; likewise malic acid, with which the same alkali 
is combined in apples, and many other fruits ; similarly, too, 
the other natural acids of vegetables in general, as well as the 
lactic acid of milk. As long as the human body remains alive 

3 



34 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

a continuous state of slow combustion goes on within its economy, 
gradually, and for the most part gently , during which the organic 
acids of these potash salts become slowly consumed, whilst giving 
off their excess of carbonic acid, and water through the outlets 
of lungs, skin, and kidneys, but leaving behind their alkaline 
potash. This potash combines with the otherwise stony lithic 
acid (gouty material) just when, and where it begins to be 
harmfully formed, and neutralizes it into a soluble innocent 
combination. But no such happy decomposition is possible 
with free mineral acids in the blood, and tissues, to wit, sulphuric, 
nitric, or hydrochloric (if given medicinally), which are therefore 
poisonous to persons of a gouty, lithic acid disposition. Neither 
does the acid of vinegar — acetic, produced by fermentation — 
become changed so as to yield an alkali against gouty deposits ; 
but, as already stated, lemons, and grapes contain the fruit salts 
of potash most abundantly. Persons who cannot afford to buy 
these fruits as daily food may use cream of tartar, which, when 
genuine, is the natural salt of the grape. 

Again, we shamefully neglect the best of all food by failing 
to partake more freely of fruit when ripe and sound. If it must 
be had cooked, then what we have to say is, " Jam for the 
milhon, jeUy for the luxurious, but fruit-juice in some form for 
all." The desire among boys for fruit, which sometimes tempts 
them to rob the orchard, is due to the craving of nature at this 
time of Ufe for vegetable acids, a craving which it is needful to 
gratify, and wrong to deny. 

The chief mineral substances necessary in food are soda, 
potash, lime, magnesia, and iron, together with phosphorus, 
chlorine, sulphur, and traces of such matters as silica, fluorine, 
and iodine. These constituents are of vital importance as 
structure-builders, and renovators. Lime and phosphorus are 
organically combined in milk ; iron in yolk of eggs, meat, and 
artichokes ; sulphur in all vegetable nitrogenous foods. Of 
dietetic articles the richest in lime is milk, next eggs, then the 
cereal grains, especially rice. Iron is present (as to order of 
richness) in spinach, yolk of egg, beef, apples, lentils, strawberries, 
white beans, peas, potatoes, and wheat. Milk, and its derivatives, 
such as cheese, are very poor in iron. Of vegetable foods, 
oatmeal, and Egyptian lentils are amongst the richest in iron, 
but bread, rice, artichokes, potatoes, and spinach also contain 
a good proportion. > 



ALKALIES IN FOODS. 85 

Certain Natural Waters from volcanic regions, former, or 
present, are in demand as pure and refreshing drinks, because 
of their amount of carbonic acid gas, as well as their mineral 
salts. The best, and longest known is the water of Seltzers in 
Nassau, generally called Seltzer water, which continues to be 
supplied commercially in just the same state as whilst rising 
from this wonderful spring. It was first used in 1798. But 
artificial mineral waters are now much more in vogue, all of 
which are impregnated with carbonic acid gas made from chalk 
(carbonate of Hme) in its ground, pulverulent form, " whiting." 
Those waters which are distilled should be preferred, not only 
because they are free from organic impurities, but also because 
they are without any mineral salts in excess ; of course, the 
source of the water from which these drinks are manufactured 
must be irreproachable as regards taint of impurity, or infection. 
And as to " the mineral spring fad," says Dr. Woods Hutchinson 
(^903), " this is one of the survivals in medicine from the times of 
"'tlie ' tr^jgbling of the waters ' in the Pool of Bethesda. It origin- 
ated unmistakably in the good old demon-theory days, when the 
potency of the water was rated according to the amount of heat, 
and effervescence from gases contained therein, and, best of all, 
from its sulphurous smell, and abominable taste, all of which 
were to the primitive mind clear and convincing proofs that such 
water issued directly from the infernal regions, being possessed 
by spirits, and hence peculiarly suitable for the casting out of 
devils by Beelzebub." " Thus, either sparkle, heat, or a 
brimstone taste is still the popular requisite for a successful 
mineral water ; if it has all three it inspires a confidence little 
short of that felt by Montaigne in the waters of Corsena, which 
he declared ' powerful enough to break stones.' " 

A bottle of soda water recovered from the wreck of the Royal 
George (1780) was sold March 10th, 1903, by pubhc auction in 
London for the sum of twenty-five guineas, it being more than 
120 years old. Soda water was first introduced in 1767, being 
called " Mephitic julep," by Mr. Eiohard Bewley, of Great 
Massingham, and it received its present name before 1798. A 
glass soda-water bottle was dug up on the Crimean battlefield, 
thus showing that no alteration in the shape had taken place for 
seventy-three years. Ginger-beer was at one time put into 
bottles similar in shape to this same soda-water pattern, but 
made of stone. 



36 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Tte effervescent table waters of commerce, — soda-water, 
potash-water, Seltzer-water, Apollinaris water, and the like, — 
are all charged more or less with alkaline carbonates, whereby 
they are prevented from arresting the salivary digestion, so 
that the use of such waters as an addition to sub-acid wines is 
conunendable. The mineral waters, soda or potash, usually 
contain in each bottle from ten to fifteen grains of their respective 
bicarbonates, in addition to the carbonic acid gas. Seltzer-water 
further contains magnesium, with phosphate, and sulphate of 
soda. " At Bath," we are told, " in Pickwick's day, near at 
hand to the Pump Eoom, there were mineral baths in which a 
part of the company wash themselves, and a band plays after- 
wards to congratulate the remainder on their fellow-visitors 
having done so." Further on we read concerning these Bath 
mineral waters (sulphated hme) : " ' Have you drunk the waters, 
Mr. Weller ? ' inquired his companion, the tall footman, as they 
walked towards High Street. ' Once,' replied Sam. ' What 
did you think of 'em, Sir ? ' 'I thought they was particklerly 
unpleasant,' replied Sam. ' Ah ! ' said Mr. John Smawker, 
' you disliked the killibeate taste, perhaps ? ' 'I don't know 
much about that 'ere,' said Sam ; ' I thought they'd a werry 
strong flavour of warm flat-irons.' ' That is the killibeate, 
Mr. Weller,' observed Mr. John Smawker contemptuously. 
' Well, if it is, it's a werry inexpressive word, that's all,' said 
Sam ; ' it may be so, but I aint much in the chemical line myself, 
so I can't say.' " 

Nowadays much may be done for the relief of functional heart 
disorders by taking, as a pleasant beverage at meals. Barium 
water, a famous spring whereof exists at Llangammarch Wells, 
in Breconshire. This contains more than six grains of barium 
per gallon. The water is hkewise of especial service for curing 
enlarged tonsils in dehcate children, with contingent irritability 
of the heart ; also it is highly useful as a course for lessening 
arterial stiffness of the vascular coats. The Barium water can 
be had in bottles, or syphons, for table use. S^^-J 

About the middle of the eighteenth century, when stone in 
the bladder was common, and was sought to be dissolved by 
alkalies, soap was largely administered as such a solvent. The 
case of Horace Walpole marked this method in 1748, when he 
began to take a course consisting of one ounce of Alioant soap in 
three pints of Ume-water daily.' The same regimen was continued 



ALKALIES IN FOODS. 37 

by him until the beginning of the year 1757, when it was calculated 
that he had consumed no -less than 180 pounds of soap, and 
1,200 gallons of Ume-water. Yet when an examination was 
made of his body after death by Mr. Sergeant-Surgeon Ranby, 
and Mr. Hawkins, three stones were found in his bladder. 

It was to challenge the memory of old Maoklin (who had 
boasted he could learn anything by rote on once hearing it), that 
S. Foote extemporised the following well-known nonsense- 
passage. " So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf 
to make an apple pie, and at the same time a great she-bear 
coming up the street pops its head into the shop. What ! no 
soap ! so he died, and she very imprudently married the barber ; 
and there were present the Picaninnies, and the Jobhllies, and 
the Graryulies, and the Grand Panjandrum himself, with the little 
round button at top ; and they all fell to playing the game of 
catch as catch can till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of 
their boots." A (professedly) Eton boy has rendered the same 
in Latin hexameters : — 

" Ut vice pomorum fungantur caiile, plaoentam 
Hoi'tulum adifc meditans : immani corpore at Ursa 
Ora tabernse infert — eheu, saponis egeitas I 
Hicce obiit dehinc mortem, temeiAria at illse 
Omine tonsori Isbvo nupsit : Picalilli, 
Joblillique aderant, cum Garrabulis ; Panjandrum 
Magnus et ipse aderat, apioe insiguisque piisillo : 
Ludo captantes oaptabantur quoque, pulvis 
Calce cothumorum donee solopetarius exit." 

Professor Kirk, of Edinburgh, in Paper s on Health, commends 
highly for localized neuralgia to lather the part with Barilla soap, 
which must be genuine (MacUnton's) as compounded from the ash 
of the barilla plant, growing abundantly in Sicily, in TenerifEe, 
and some parts of Spain. Lather made therefrom does not dry 
on the skin ; its composition is a valuable secret. The soap 
requires eight days for its manufacture, and should be stamped 
with the name of makers — Brown & Son, Donoughmore, Tyrone, 
Ireland. This lather will allay the irritation of internal organs 
by appUcation to the skin outside, as, for instance, over the 
stomach when it is rejecting all food, and even when retching 
on emptiness. Handful after handful of the lather (mixed in 
the palm with a shaving-brush, and hot water) should be laid 
on until the required surface is well covered ; then a soft hand- 
kerchief should be put loosely over it. Again, varicose ulcers 



38 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of the legs can be successfully healed in many cases by simply 
dressing them with compresses of lint, or soft linen, steeped in a 
solution of bicarbonate of soda, containing from 2 to 4 per cent 
of this salt. The suppurative discharges will become straightway 
lessened, and healing will proceed apace. 

ALMONDS. 

Two sorts of almonds are available with us commercially — 
the sweet, or Jordan almond, — so called, it would seem, from 
" jardyne," because of the garden sort (chiefly from Malaga 
and not in any way connected with the sacred river of Syria) ; 
and the bitter almond, belonging to the same species, but 
possessing other volatile poisonous properties which are dangerous. 
The sweet almond (amygdala) is valuable as a food, and for con- 
fectionery purposes, being rich in a bland oil, and sustaining as a 
nutriment. The staying power conferred by a meal of which these 
almonds, and some raisins, form the chief part, is well known. 
It has been well said, " No man who can fill his pockets with 
' almonds need starve on a journey." Persons who can readily 
digest these products are believed to derive from them a quicken- 
ing of the intellect in magnetism, and in keenness, or argumen- 
tative force ; but, if at all rancid, almonds are apt to upset 
delicate digestions, inducing nettlerash, and feverishness. Bitter 
almonds are smaller, and whilst yielding in part the same bland oil, 
when mixed as emulsion, contain further a powerful bitter prin- 
ciple known as amygdalin, which becomes identical with prussic 
acid, and is therefore a potent poison. The volatile, bitter oil 
which embodies this poison is obtained from the residual almond 
cake after the bland oil has been first expressed. When eaten in 
substance the bitter almond is strongly harmful, and its distilled 
water will cause giddiness, headache, dimness of sight, vomiting, 
and occasionally convulsions, such as of epilepsy. An essence 
of bitter almonds (ratafia) is made by mixing two fluid drachms 
of the volatile oil with six fluid drachms of alcohol. Sweet 
almonds roasted to the colour of amber are delicious to eat with 
biscuits, or with bread and butter ; they contain 24 per cent of 
vegetable nitrogen (proteid), 54 per cent of fat, 10 per cent of 
starch material, 3 per cent of salts, 3 per cent of extractives, 
and 6 per cent of water. 

As an ehgible piece of confectionery which is hght, sustaining. 



ALMONDS. 39 

and somewhat sedative to an irritable, or qualmish stomach, 
the macaroon (" maccare," to reduce to pulp) is admirable, 
either at breakfast (instead of the customary egg, including the 
yolk), or by way of an improvised luncheon, or as an occasional 
snack, about the easy digestion of which no fear need be enter- 
tained. The albuminous white of egg, the demulcent, reinvigora- 
ting sweet almond, the comforting sugar, and the tranquillising 
modicum of bitter almond, with its infinitesimal quantity of 
prussic acid as a sedative to the gastric nerves, make 
altogether a most happy combination for the objects now 
particularized. 

In the dietetic treatment of diabetes sweet almor may be 
employed for making a kind of bread without starcn. n it, this 
being a tolerable substitute for wheaten bread, which is prohibited 
because of its starch, convertible into sugar. For this purpose 
the sweet almonds are first blanched, then expressed strongly 
together so that a portion of their oil may be squeezed out ; 
they are next treated with boiling water in which some tartaric 
. acid has been dissolved for expelling the sugar ; and finally they 
are groiind into a powder, which can be used for making bread, 
or for cakes, and puddings, when combined with eggs, and cream. 
Almond drink is softening and nutritive in chest affections, 
being easily prepared by rubbing up a couple of ounces of the 
compound powder of almonds with a pint of water. This is 
serviceable in fever, and other acute diseases. Again, Almond 
soup is a nourishing dish for a delicate stomach disposed to 
nausea. A quarter of a pound of Jordan almonds, and five bitter 
almonds, are to be blanched, peeled, and pounded, with half-a-pint 
of milk added during the process, and a pint of milk afterwards ; 
then warm the mixture, and pour it over a pint and a half of 
rice milk, also made hot ; mix both these together, when hot 
enough, in a tureen. 

It may be that the so-called Jordan almonds have derived 
their name from the " Jordan," an old English vessel (of clay), 
in shape like a modern soda-water bottle, which was formerly 
made use of by physicians. Most persons suppose, unthinkingly, 
that these almonds (which arrive here about Christmas time 
with other dried fruits) come from the neighbourhood of the 
river Jordan in Palestine ; but it is better known that they 
derive their distinctive name from an enterprising Englishman 
of that title who planted, and reared them first at Malaga. They 



40 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

embody much nitrogenous food (vegetable meat) in a compact 
form, together with a nice palatable oil, whilst free from starch, 
or sugar ; they are therefore largely employed in making 
diabetic foods. From these sweet almonds a milky drink can 
be prepared which will soothe, and pacify troublesome bronchial 
coughs. The bitter almond contains in 100 parts, 28 of fixed 
oil, 30 of albumin, 6 of sugar, and 19 of essential oil, including 
its prussic acid. This almond, when rubbed up with water, 
has the odour of fresh peach blossom, with the pleasant, bitter 
taste of peach kernels. Prepared from it sparingly by the cook 
are macaroon biscuits, smaller ratafia biscuits, and the French 
sirof d'orgeat, which severally supply prussic acid in a safely 
modified form, excellent against nausea, and the sickness of 
nervous indigestion. 

Far back in 1610 John Taylor, the water-poet, wrote : " Let 
anything come in the shape of fodder, or eating stufEe, it is 
welcome, whether it be sawsedge, or cheese-cakes, or makroone- 
kichshaw, or tartaplin." For making macaroons, according to 
an old Dutch recipe : " Take one pound of sweet almonds, 
blanched and pounded, together with a tablespoonful o£ fresh 
rose-water, and one pound of white sugar .; melt the sugar, and 
almonds over the fire until quite a tough jelly ; then have ready 
the whites of four eggs beaten to a froth ; whip them together 
when cold. This way of melting the sugar and almonds is 
excellent, as it prevents the macaroons from running together 
in the tins. Three or four bitter almonds, according to taste, 
may be included among the sweet almonds now ordered. The 
old-fashioned plan was to put a small piece of candied citron 
on each macaroon biscuit. Dust some fine cinnamon over 
before baking." 

At Miss Barker's (the ex-milliner) evening party given to the 
select ladies of "Cranford" (Mrs. Gaskell) there were "all sorts 
of good things provided unexpectedly for supper, — scalloped 
oysters, potted lobsters, jelly, a dish called ' little Cupids ' (which 
was in great favour with the Cranford ladies, although too 
expensive to be provided except on solemn, and state occasions ; 
macaroons sopped in brandy I should have called it if I 
had not known its more refined, and classical name). In 
short, we were evidently to be feasted with all that was 
sweetest and best ; and we thought it better to submit 
graciously, even at the cost of our gentility, — which never 



ALMONDS. 41 



ate suppers in general, but which was particularly hungry 
on all special occasions." 

Again, Charles Lamb, when in lodgings with Mary Lamb, 
up two pairs of stairs in East Street, at Miss Benjay's, rejoiced 
in " tea, cofiee, and macaroons (a kind of cake), and much love." 

Salted almonds make a nourishing side dish at luncheon, or 
for dessert. Blanch a quarter of a pound of Jordan almonds, 
fry them in an ounce and a half of butter, and when fried a nice 
golden brown, drain them on paper, and then roll them in salt 
dusted with red pepper. 

Likewise, for serving to dispel nausea (except from obnoxious 
undigested food) an admirable confection which is delicious to 
the palate, and which is to be had from most pastrycooks under 
the name of •" apricotine," answers promptly, being at the same 
time an acceptable sweetmeat. Small, round sponge cakes 
are made, within which some almond paste is put, with a thin 
layer of apricot jam superimposed, whilst white powdered sugar 
is dusted over the cakes. 

Katafia biscuits are composed mainly of bitter almonds, and 
are smaller in size than macaroons. As ingredients, take half a 
pound of sweet almonds (blanched, and pounded), with the white 
of an egg, a quarter of a pound of bitter almonds, three-quarters 
of a pound of sifted sugar, and the whites of four eggs (whisked) ; 
bake for ten minutes. 

In Sterne's Tristram Shandy, vol. vii, occurs a tenderly 
humorous piece of delicate writing which bears reference to the 
macaroon : " 'Twas a poor ass who had just turned in (at Lyons) 
with a couple of large panniers on his back to collect eleemosynary . 
turnip-tops, and cabbage-leaves, and stood dubious with its two 
fore feet on the inside of the threshold, and with its two hinder 
feet towards the street. He was eating the stem of an artichoke 
as I held discourse with him, and, in the little peevish contentions 
between hunger, and unsavouriness, had dropped it out of his 
mouth half-a-dozen times, and picked it up again. ' God help 
thee. Jack ! ' said I ; ' thou hast a bitter breakfast on't, and 
many a bitter day's labour, and many a bitter blow, I fear. 
And now thy mouth, if one knew the truth of it, is as bitter, 
I daresay, as soot (for he had cast aside the stem), and thou hast 
not a friend perhaps in all this world that will give thee a 
macaroon.^ In saying which I pulled out a paper of 'em which 
I had just purchased, and gave him one ; and at this moment 



42 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

that I am telling of it my heart smites me that there was more 
of pleasantry in the conceit of seeing how an ass would eat a 
macaroon than of benevolence in giving him one, which presided 
in the act." Well might Thackeray say of this passage, " The 
critic who refuses to see in it wit, humour, pathos, a kind nature 
speaking, and a real sentiment, must be hard indeed to move, and 
to please." 

A nourishing dish for a child, or invalid, is good bread-sauce 
to which has been added two ounces of ground almonds well 
pounded in a mortar. It may be served with spinach if approved. 
Baked almonds lightly salted, and ground, make excellent 
sandwiches. Whether taken thus, or in a simpler form, they 
should always be previously blanched, as their brown skin is 
possessed of irritating properties The sweet almond oil is used 
in making " Rowland's macassar." The French " orgeat," 
or " orgeade,' is a syrup made chiefly from sweet almonds. 

ANGELICA. 

The candied stems of this aromatic Enghsh herb, as sold com- 
monly by our confectioners, are of excellent service to relieve the 
flatulence of weakly digestion. They smell pleasantly of musk, 
being a capital tonic, and carminative. Furthermore they are 
antiseptic. It was said in the Sfecidum Mundi (1643) : 

"Contagious aire ingendering pestilence. 
Infects not those, who in their mouths have taine 
Angelica, that happy counterbane." 

The herb is known as Masterwort, or more popularly, " Jack 
Jump-about," also as Lingwort. It is grown abundantly near 
London, and may be cultivated in our gardens. Its peculiar 
resin, " angehcin," is stimulating also to the lungs, and the skin, 
especially for aged, and feeble persons with bronchial catarrh. 
Some writers have said this plant — the Archangelica — was 
revealed in a dream 'by an angel to cure the plague ; others aver 
that it blooms on the day dedicated to Michael the Archangel 
(May 8th, old style), and is therefore a preservative against evil 
spirits, and witchcraft. Angelica taken somewhat freely as a 
sweetmeat will cause a distaste for alcoholic liquors. 

ANIMAL FOODS. 

A DISTINCTION is to be made between animal foods, and flesh 
foods, which latter do not include milk, cheese, butter, or eggs. 



ANIMAL FOODS. 43 

(each of which will be considered here under its proper heading). 
As to animal foods, when compared with those of a vegetable 
nature, it is to be noticed that while plants build up their con- 
tained nutriment by increase of growth, and by materials con- 
stantly added, animal flesh is always on the downward grade , by 
wear and tear of consumed tissue, and muscle, etc. Thus it 
happens that the flesh of animal bodies, when taken by us as 
food, still contains broken-down products such as were being per- 
petually excreted through the animal's skin, kidneys, intestines, 
lungs, and other emunctory outlets of its body. Therefore it 
cannot but happen that we eat some of these waste products, 
modified though they become by proper cooking, otherwise they 
are Uable to provoke poisonous toxication of the blood, and to 
cause the retention therein of fermentative noxious elements. 
" Flesh foods," says Kellog, " of the animals we consume contain 
poisonous substances resulting from force-expending processes, 
such as brain, and nerve activity, and muscle activity, including 
that of the heart, and glands. In fact, every vital process carried 
on in the animal's body produces poisonous material, to be 
thrown off by this or that extricatory channel. In the flesh of 
the healthiest animal there is always present a large, or small 
amount of broken-down products, which are on their way out of 
its body, to be removed by the liver, the kidneys, the skin, and 
other organs." But the plant, as far as we know, has no such 
waste products ; neither does milk comprehend them. 

The principal nutritive constituent of flesh meat is " proteid," 
this being characterised by the rapidity with which it can become 
disintegrated as to its cells, with the liberation of heat ; in other 
words it is a quick fuel. " It is to such proteid that meat owes its 
heating qualities, as commonly ascribed ; for which reason its use 
should be restricted in summer-time." " Again," says Clouston, 
" the presence of much meat in the diet seems to act as an excitant 
of the animal passions, such ' flesh ' being the incarnation of ram- 
pant, uncontrollable force." Moreover, we have to remember 
that the fundamental principle of our daily urine is urea, a 
waste product of the muscles and other bodily structures, which 
we are constantly expending in our daily life, whilst exactly the 
same conditions obtain with the animals whose flesh we eat. It 
will therefore be anxiously asked. Is the uric acid still in the meat 
when it comes to table ? Yes, certainly ! These waste " extrac- 
tives of meat," as Dr. Hutchison calls them, " have no nutritive 



44 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

value, but they are the chief cause of the characteristic taste of 
meat. Whether or not they exercise bad eSects, or the same 
effects which the like poisons cause when becoming formed in 
our own bodies, science does not say." " Together with the 
uric acid are found other poisons, e.g., creatin, creatinin, etc. ; 
so that the flesh diet makes the excretions twice as poisonous 
from animals, as are the excretions of a person who lives on 
fleshless diet." " It is admitted." writes Dr. Haig, " that 
disease germs will grow with the greatest rapidity in beef-tea, 
and other preparations of animal tissue ; whereas fruit juices 
will often actually destroy these germs." 

When an animal is slaughtered for food, its tissues and cells 
before they are all completely dead still go on consuming the 
soluble food-elements which surround them, and they yet produce 
various chemical combinations just as during life ; that is to say, 
they go on working, and giving ofE waste matters for a time after 
death. But no longer can the body remove these corrupt waste 
products through its several outlets ; they accumulate as poisons 
after the animals' death, and tend to spoil the flesh, being no 
more washed away by a circulating stream of pure blood ; and 
we can readily imagine how much worse the efiect is when the 
carcase of the animal has been kept for several days before reach- 
ing the kitchen. " Concerning the eating of animals," says the 
Buddhist Ray, a Hindoo journal, " In the mechanical arts the 
meat-eating nations of the West surpass, as to skill and ingenuity, 
the vegetarian nations of the East. Still, this does not make 
them healthier or happier. The vices, and diseases of the 
Western carnivorous nations have, within the century recently 
ended^ been the means of the extinction of whole races. On 
the diet of animal flesh they will never realise the ' peace 
and goodwill among men' spoken of in the Christian Scriptures. 
The dream of a pearly-gated, peaceful. New Jerusalem on a 
carnivorous diet, is the delusory chimera of a fool, or a visionary." 

Of animal ioods, the most rapidly digested are those of soft 
consistence, such as sweetbread, and the like. The white meats, 
chicken, etc., are more digestible than the dark meats, for 
instance, the duck, or pigeon, or even the red meats ; but their 
method of cooking greatly influences the result. Fresh fish is 
more rapidly digested than meat. Cauliflower is the most 
speedily digested of all vegetables. 

It is remarkable with respect to the infirmity of stammering 



ANIMAL FOODS. . 45 



in speech, that several leading German physicians now maintain 
the opinion that a diminution in the amount of meat that is 
eaten should be insisted on with a view to lessening these diffi- 
culties of utterance ; three weeks of abstinence from meat are 
said to marvellously improve a stammering sufierer. Again, 
in the strange case of Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde, as told by Robert 
Louis Stevenson, 1896, it is related how the former personage 
discovered by researches in the laboratory that man's nature is 
not truly that of a unit, but dual, — animal, and intellectual, — 
and that by a certain compound drug, or tincture, containing 
various salts corresponding to meat extractives, the two natures 
could be separated, the animal Hyde being set free to follow his 
unrestrained brutal indulgences. Other drugs could restore the 
former double nature in one, but the oftener the separation was 
practised the greater ascendancy did the low vicious animal 
nature acquire, until at length it got to possess the man alto- 
gether, body and soul. And in this way the moral, and in- 
tellectual redeeming moiety was utterly extinguished, so that 
the monster Edward Hyde completely overpowered the good, 
benevolent Dr. Jekyll, and presently came to a miserable end by 
suicide, that he might escape from the Nemesis of the law for the 
heinous crimes perpetrated through his flesh-eating propensities. 
The people who consume the greatest quantity of meat are the 
Americans, their average individual amount being one hundred 
and seventy-five pounds per annum. The English come next 
with an average of rather more than one hundred and ten pounds. 
The French people eat only half as much meat as the English ; and 
the people of Germany, Italy, and Austria still less. 

Long experience by English, Scotch, and Irish labourers has 
proved cheese to be a capital substitute for meat in affording 
satisfactory nourishment. A small quantity of sound cheese 
with them takes the place of a large allowance of meat, and 
enables them to endure such hard labour as the American thinks 
he can only perform upon a generous meat diet. In Germany 
farm labourers depend largely upon the curd of milk, after 
skimming this milk for butter. Such curd is often used in a 
fresh state, and makes an important part of the labourers diet. 
Cheese is less Uable to putrefactive change than flesh, and thus 
much less likely to develop in the human system those scrofulous 
diseases which are attributable to animal food, more or less 
diseased, if the truth were known. 



46 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

The person who eats in excess, especially of animal food, is 
always too easily fatigued ; even a single meal may produce 
fatigue, if it is unusually large, or rich. Workmen are sooner 
tired on a Monday compared with any other day of the week, 
owing to their having more (animal) food, and less work on the 
Sunday preceding. The said fatigue is then due to self-poison- 
ing, or auto-intoxication by corrupt products from a surfeited 
digestion. And on this principle it happens that the staying 
power of vegetarian eaters is so much greater than that of those 
who consume meat, when competing, for instance, in walking 
matches over long distances. 

Nevertheless a generous diet in the respect of animal food 
is generally essential towards the cure of hysteria, where 
the nervous system is always impoverished. As regards the 
making, and repair of bodily tissues, these efiects can be 
accomplished only by proteids, with mineral matters, and 
water. Besides the lean of flesh these proteids include white 
of egg, the casein of milk, the gluten of grains, and gelatin, 
with fibrin, as parts of meat. They as proteids are alone 
able to fulfil both functions as a food, viz., tissue-making, 
and the maintenance of bodily warmth. Hence is given to 
them the pre-eminent name, proteids. "We may go without 
fats, but unless we have proteids we die." Vegetable pro- 
teid is not so readily assimilable as that of flesh meat. 
■' Many of the failures of haphazard vegetarianism are due 
to a lack of sufiicient proteids in the diet." Nitrogen 
enters the body in proteid, and leaves it in urea, the product 
of expended muscular force. Carbon enters the body in fat, 
and leaves it in carbonic dioxide, the product of combustion 
within the body. 

Sir Thomas Browne, in his Religio Medici, 1635, has discoursed 
after the following manner about our eating of meat. " Now 
for these walls of flesh wherein the soul doth seem to be immured 
before the Resurrection, it is nothing but an elemental com- 
position, and a fabric that must fall to ashes. All flesh is grass 
is not only metaphorically, but literally true ; for all those 
creatures we behold are but the herbs of the field, digested into 
flesh in them, or more remotely carnified in ourselves. Nay, 
further, we are what we all abhor, anthropophagi, and cannibals, 
devourers not only of men, but of ourselves ; and that not in 
an allegory, but a positive truth, for all this mass of flesh which 



ANIMAL FOODS. 4Y 



we behold came in at out mouths, this frame we look upon hath 
been upon our trenchers ; in brief we have devoured ourselves ! " 

Within quite recent times the medical practice has come 
deservedly into vogue, of curing diseased states due to faulty 
function of some particular organ (glandular for the most part) 
in the human subject, by giving as food, or as an extract, portions 
of the same organ whilst in sound health , taken from a freshly- 
slaughtered animal. Thus goitre of the throat, and the 
depraved state of system induced thereby, are corrected, 
and the patient restored to full health, by administering 
the neck gland (or its extract) — "thyroid" — of a healthy 
sheep. Similarly for the urinary digioulties of old men, 
because of the gland (prostate) at the neck of the bladder 
having become thickened with senile deposits, the chopped 
prostate gland of a newly-slaughtered bull is given from 
day to day in small quantities with the most marked benefit. 
Likewise other such cures are being effected by giving for their 
allied diseases the glands, or their prepared extracts, of kidney, 
Uver, breast, ovary, etc. Again, an animal extract is being got 
from the (bUnd) gland which caps the kidney of sheep or ox, and 
which corresponds to the same gland in the human body. This 
extract (adrenahn) has the power to stay bleeding by making the 
blood-vessels concerned therein contract, and close themselves 
up, even when cut by the surgeon's knife. But it is of difficult 
production, seeing that each animal gland of this nature (supra- 
renal) can only furnish a quarter of a grain. Also the gastric 
juice secreted by a healthy animal's stomach, as of the pig, or 
calf, will by its pepsin externally, when dried, cleanse, and serve 
to heal wounds, and sores complicated by sloughing, the pepsin, 
which acts only on dead tissues, faithfully seeking out, and 
breaking up the debris of disorganised cellular structure. The 
sores must be washed thoroughlv from time to time, and a fresh 
solution of pepsin again applied. Similarly, for chronic urethral 
soreness, with bladder complications, and disorganized products 
given off within the urinary passages, the injection of pepsin, or 
bougies made therefrom, and passed along, have been found 
eminently successful. 

Curative preparations of healthy animal organs exercise this 
remedial action within the human body under disease, in one of 
two ways, intrinsic, or extrinsic ; the former when they replace 
some necessary secretion which is wanting in the patient ; the 



i8 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

latter when not glandular, but identical in structure with the 
part at fault, so as in some remarkable manner to influence such 
part for good ; as for example by giving animal heart-substance 
for failure of power in the human heart, or spinal marrow from 
the ox for weakness of the human spine. Cardin is the medicinal 
principle of the bullock's heart, and is contained therein when 
this is sent to table as food, being found to increase the force, and 
fulness of the pulse subsequently to eating it. Dr. Hutchison 
speaks of the animal heart as an excellent, and economical food, 
to be highly commended for healthy persons, and of which a 
larger use than at present may be well made. It resembles 
ordinary meat very closely as far as chemical composition is 
concerned, (whilst plus the cardin,) but differs from it in being 
of a denser structure. Likewise with respect to the human brain 
when disordered in function, it is found that sheeps' brains, by 
the " cerebrin " of their grey matter, when administered as 
food act beneficially. Again, the discovery recently made that 
a local application within the human nostrils of the said animal 
organ attached to the sheep's kidney (supra-renal), when dried 
and powdered, will straightway relieve the distress of hay fever, 
is remarkable and to the point. This animal substance if 
blown into, and up the nose exercises a positive remedial effect 
on the severe nasal trouble. Whether or not the same animal 
organ if given as food would answer equally well, remains to be 
tried. Furthermore, proof positive has been obtained that if 
an animal serum, which can dissolve the red corpuscles of the 
human blood, is injected by small doses into the human body 
under the skin, it will positively increase the number of sound 
healthy red corpuscles possessed by the individual. Likewise 
other serums, or soups, prepared from healthy animals (as of 
the liver, kidney, or spermatic fluid) and employed in small 
quantities, will actually strengthen the specific tissue elements 
of this, or that same human organ, when weakened by illness, 
or disease. 

ANISETTE, OR ANISEED. 

This is a cordial liqueur, prepared from the condimentary seeds of 
the herb Anise, which are commonly kept among the pantry stores 
of a well-ordered household. The said seeds (of the Pinvpindla 
anisum) when distilled with water, yield a valuable fragrant 
syrupy oil, which separates when cold into two portions, a light 



ANISETTE. OR ANISEED. 49 



volatile oil, and a solid camphor called " anethol." The oil, 
being mixed with spirit of wine as an essence, or the liqueur 
anisette from the liqueur case, has a specially beneficial action 
on the bronchial tubes to encourage expectoration, particularly 
with children. For infantile catarrh, after its first feverish stage 
is over, aniseed tea is very helpful. It should be made by 
pouring half a pint of boiling water on two teaspoonfuls of the 
seeds, first bruised in a mortar, and is to be taken (when suffi- 
ciently sweetened) cold, in doses of one, two, or three teaspoonfuls 
according to the age of the child, with repetitions as needed. 
Gerarde teaches that Aniseed " helpeth the yeoxing, or hicket 
(hiccough), and should be given to young children to eat which 
are hke to have the falling sickness, or to such as have it by 
patrimony, or succession." 

Again, for spasmodic asthma, anisette is, if administered in hot 
water, an immediate palliative. The Germans have an almost 
superstitious behef in the medicinal virtues of Aniseed, and all 
their ordinary household bread is plentifully besprinkled with 
the whole seeds. The mustacese, or spiced cakes of the Romans, 
introduced at the end of a rich feast so as to prevent indigestion, 
consisted of meal with anise, and other such aromatics, as used 
for staying putrescence or sour fermentation within the intestines. 
Such a cake was formerly brought in at the close of a marriage 
banquet ; and hence the bride cake of modern times has taken 
its origin, though now its rich, heavy composition is rather apt 
to produce indigestion than to prevent this trouble. An old 
Latin epithet of the herb Anise was " solamen intestinorum," 
— comforter of the bowels. 

In the city of Naples, " long before dawn, and whilst unseen 
by the most active of visitors, comes up and down into the poorer 
streets a tattered fellow blowing a shrill whistle. ' CaSe ! ' 
he shouts as he tramps from cellar to garret of the lofty houses, 
rousing the sleepy people to their work, and setting down at 
their doors the comfortable drink which fortifies them for the 
day. He carries a small bottle of Aniseed, and pours a drop or 
two into every cup." 

For the restlessness of lagging digestion at night, a cup of 
Aniseed tea made by pouring boiling water on the bruised seeds 
(tied in a small bit of muslin) and sweetening the infusion, is 
much to be commended at bedtime. Besides containing the 
volatile oil. Anise yields phosphates, malates, gum, and a resin. 

4 



50 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

" Let me tell you this," says a practical writer of to-day : " If 
you are suffering from attacks of bronchial asthma, just send 
for a bottle of the liqueur called Anisette, and take a dram of 
it with a little hot water ; you will find it an immediate palliative ; 
you will cease barking like Cerberus ; you will be soothed, and 
go to sleep. I have been bronchitic, and asthmatic for twenty 
years, and have never known an alleviative so immediately 
efficacious as anisette." Furthermore, its exquisite flavour 
wiU give a most grateful warmth, and aroma, to cold water on a 
hot summer's day. 

Similar to the Anise plant for its fragrant aromatic virtues is 
the herb Dill (Anethum graveolens), cultivated commonly in our 
kitchen gardens for condimentary, and medicinal uses. It is an 
umbelliferous herb, bearing fruit which furnishes " anethol," 
a volatile empyreumatic oil hke that of Anise, and Caraway. 
This pungent essential oil consists of a hydrocarbon, " carvene," 
together with an oxygenated oil. It is a " gallant expeller of 
the wind, and provoker of the terms." " Limbs that are swollen 
and cold, if rubbed with the oil o' dill are much eased, if not 
cured thereby." The name Dill is derived from a Saxon verb 
dUla, to luU, because of its tranquilhsing properties, and its 
soothing children to sleep. The cordial water distilled from 
this stomach-comforting herb is well known to every fond 
mother, and monthly nurse, as a sovereign remedy for flatulence 
in the infant. The Dill plant is grown extensively in India, 
where the seeds are put to various culinary purposes ; their oil 
has a lemon-hke odour, which is much esteemed. Gerarde says : 
" Dill stayeth the yeox, or hicquet, as Dioscorides has taught." 
Of the distilled water, sweetened, one or two teaspoonfuls may 
be given to a baby, in diluted milk, or with the bottle food. 

APPLE. 

The Apple in its composition consists of vegetable fibre, albumin, 
sugar, gum, chlorophyll, mahc acid, earthy lime salts, and much 
water. German food-chemists teach that this fruit contains 
phosphates more abundantly than any other edible garden 
product. Apples also afford " lecithin," a phosphorated com- 
pound derived chemically from glyco-phosphoric acid. The 
juice of Apples (when no cane sugar is taken with them) becomes 
converted within the body into alkaUne carbonates, and wiU 



APPLE. 51 

neutralize acid products of indigestion, or gout. The common 
source of the term Apple in all its forms has been attributed to 
the Latin " Ahella" a town in Gampania, where fruit trees 
abound, and which is therefore styled " malifera," or apple- 
bearing, by Virgil. 

The acids of Apples (maUc and tartaric) are of signal use for 
men of sedentary habits whose livers are torpid ; they serve to 
eliminate from the body noxious matters which would, if 
retained, make the brain heavy and dull, or would produce 
jaundice, or perhaps eruptions on the skin. Some such an 
experience has led to our taking Apple-sauce with roast pork, 
roast goose, and similar rich dishes. Two or three Apples eaten 
at night, either baked, or raw, or taken with breakfast, are useful 
against constipation. " They do easily and speedily pass 
through the beUy ; therefore they do mollify the belly." A dish 
of stewed Apples eaten three times daily has worked wonders 
in cases of confirmed drunkenness, giving the person eventually 
an absolute distaste for alcohol, in whatever form. A certain 
aromatic principle is possessed by the Apple on which its particular 
flavour depends, this being a fragrant essential oil, the " valeri- 
anate of amy]," which occurs in a small but appreciable quantity. 
The analysis of cider (fermented apple-juice) shows the presence 
therein of salicyhc acid, formalin, malic acid, and other chemical 
constituents. 

The digestion of a ripe, raw Apple occupies only eighty-five 
minutes, whilst the maUc acid of such fruit, cooked, or raw, will 
help to digest meat in the stomach, as Ukewise the casein of 
sound cheese. " Bearing in mind our first Mother Eve, and the 
forbidden fruit as the beginning of all our mortal woes, the 
apple, according to the law of similars, ought homceopathically 
to be the cure for original sin " (Mark Guy Pearse). 

Sour Apples should be chosen for cooking, and must not be 
sliced too thin, else the juice runs out, and they become 
tough. In not a few cases the dried apple-rings of to-day have 
been deprived beforehand of their fresh juices by immersion 
in a water-bath after paring, coring, and slicing the fruit. 
These juices are made into independent Apple jelly ; and the 
" snitz," or pulp, into the evaporated " apple rings." In Jane 
Austen's novel, Emma (1816), we learn that it was customary 
then, as a social Enghsh refection, to serve baked Apples during 
afternoon calls by visitors in the country. " Dear Jane," said 



52 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



Miss Bates, " makes such a shocking breakfast, but about the 
middle of the day she gets hungry, and there is nothing she likes 
so well as these baked Apples, and they are extremely wholesome, 
for I took the opportunity the other day to ask Dr. Perry ; 
and when I brought out the baked Apples the other afternoon, 
and hoped our friends would be so obhging as to take some, 
' Oh,' said Mr. Churchill, ' there is nothing in the way of fruit 
half so good ; and these are the finest-looking home-baked 
Apples I ever saw in my life.' ' Indeed, they are very delightful 
Apples,' was the reply, ' only we do not have them baked more 
than twice, but Mr. Woodhouse made us promise to have them 
baked three times." 

Biffins are Apples peculiar to Norfolk, being so called from 
their close resemblance in colour to raw beef. Dickens, in his 
charming little story, Boots at the " Holly Tree Inn," tells that 
when Mrs. Harry Walmers, junior, was overcome with fatigue, 
the restorative which Boots was desired to procure was a Norfolk 
biffin. " I think a Norfolk biffin would rouse her, Cobbs," 
said Master Harry. This particular fruit was formerly dried 
in the oven until shrunk up, and leathery. When cooked it 
was stewed in syrup, until soft, and of its original size, being 
esteemed as a delicacy by the youngsters when they came down 
to dessert. In France, be it noted, these biffins are called 
" Pommes bonne femme." 

Apples, when stored in a room, absorb oxygen from the air, 
and give ofE carbonic acid gas, so that after a while the atmosphere 
of this room would extinguish a lighted candle brought into it, 
as likewise the life of a small animal. But such an atmosphere 
tends to preserve the fruit, because decay is arrested through 
the deficiency of oxygen ; therefore an apple-room should be 
air-tight. " The rotten apple," says a suggestive old proverb, 
"injures its neighbours." Again, Shakespeare has told us in 
Henry V : " Faith, as you say, there's ■ small choice in rotten 
apples." In The Life of Samuel Johnson it is related that the 
direction of his untutored studies was determined at sixteen or 
seventeen, by finding in his father's bookseller's shop at Lichfield 
a folio of Petrarch on a shelf, where he was looking for apples. 

The juices of Apples become matured and lose their rawness 
by keeping the fruit a certain time. These juices (as likewise 
those of the pear, the peach, the plum, and other such fruits), 
when taken without any addition of cane sugar, diminish acidity 



APPLE. 53 

in the stomach rather than provoke it, becoming converted 
chemically into alkaline products which correct sour fermentation. 
A poultice made of rotten Apples is commonly used in Lincoln- 
shire for reUeving weak, or rheumatic eyes. Likewise in Paris 
an Apple poultice is employed for inflamed eyes, the Apple being 
roasted, and its soft pulp applied over the eyes without any 
intervening substance. " The paring of an Apple cut somewhat 
thick, and the inside of which is laid to hot, burning, or running 
eyes at night when the party goes to bed, and is tied, or bound 
to the same, doth help the trouble very speedily, and contrary 
to expectation ; an excellent secret." A French physician has 
lately discovered that the bacillus of typhoid fever cannot live 
beyond a very short time in apple- juice ; and he therefore 
advises persons who reside where the drinking water is not above 
suspicion to mix cider therewith before imbibing it. Francatelli 
gives as a recipe for apple-water, to be drunk during fever : 
" Slice up thinly three or four Apples without peehng them, and 
boil these in a very clean saucepan with a quart of water, and a 
little sugar, until the slices of apple become soft ; then strain the 
apple-water through a piece of muslin into a jug, and give it 
cold to the patient. If desired, a small cutting of the yellow 
rind from a lemon may be added, just enough to give the drink 
a flavour." Again, for baked-apple water : " Wash three large 
Apples, and bake them (unpeeled) until quite soft ; then pour 
over them a pint of boiling water, stir well, and sweeten to taste ; 
strain afterwards when cold. This makes an excellent refreshing 
drink." Likewise a sour Apple cut up, and boiled until soft 
produces an excellent tea to abate thirst. For apple soup, 
" take half a pound of Apples, peeled and cored, and one pint of 
water, with two teaspoonfuls of cornflour, one and a half table- 
spoonfuls of moist sugar, one saltspoonful of powdered cinnamon, 
and some salt to taste. Stew the apple in the water until it is 
very soft ; then mix together into a smooth paste the cornflour, 
sugar, cinnamon, and salt, with a Uttle cold water ; pour this in 
with the apple, and boil all for five minutes ; strain into a soup 
tureen, and keep it hot until ready to serve. It may be eaten 
with sippets of toast." 

The Apple is curative in chronic dysentery, whilst from the 
bark of the stem, and the root of the Apple tree (as likewise of 
the peach, and plum trees), a glucoside is to be obtained in small 
crystals which possesses the peculiar property of inducing 



54 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

artificial diabetes in animals to whom it is given ; wherefore this 
same glucoside is to be commended remedially in human diabetes 
when coming on from spontaneous causes. 

A nice way of cooking Apples, as practised at the Cape, is 
to " wipe the apples, but do not peel them ; core, quarter, and 
cut into slices. Have ready some syrup (made in the propor- 
tion of one pound of sugar to a pint of water) boiled quickly 
for five minutes, using either moist, or crystalUzed sugar ; throw 
the apples into the boiling syrup, and boil rapidly for one hour, 
stirring frequently. The juice should then be clear, and jellied, 
and stifi, since the watery parts have been driven off in steam 
by the rapid boiling. Allow one pound of sugar to six fair-sized 
apples. Cloves, cinnamon, or lemon-peel may be added accord- 
ing to taste." 

The love of Apple pie is as strong in New as in old England, 
folks being partial in the former to a combination of cheese 
therewith. S. T. Coleridge is reported to have said that a man 
could not have a pure mind who refused to eat Apple dumplings. 
" Thy breath," exclaims a swain of the Elizabethan times to 
his lady-love, " is like the steame of apple pyes." Sydney 
Smith, when writing to Lady Holland, September, 1829, tells 
concerning Mr. Lutrell : "He came over for a day, from whence 
I know not, but I thought not from good pastures ; at least he 
had not his usual soup and pattie look ; there was a forced 
smile upon his countenance which seemed to indicate plain 
roast, and boiled, and a sort of apple-pudding depression, as if 
he had been staying with a clergyman." 

For a meal to satisfy hunger when the supplies are short, many 
prescriptions have been given, from Franklin's famous mess of 
gruel with bread crumbled into it, so as to amplify the food, and 
make it filling at the price, down to the " cheap living " recipe 
of an American writer, who has advised his readers to " first eat 
two cents worth of dried Apples, and afterwards drink a quart 
of water to swell them out as a bellyful." 

Pippins are Apples which have been raised from pips. Con- 
cerning Lincolnshire pippins, wrote Fuller in his Book of Worthies 
(1642) : " With these we will close the stomach of the reader, 
being concluded most cordial by physicians. Some conceive 
them not above a hundred years seniority in England. However, 
they thrive best, and prove best in this county of Lincoln, 
and particularly about Kirton, whence they have acquired 



A PPLE. 55 

the addition of 'Kirton pippins,' a wholesome, and delicious 
apple." 

A Codling is an Apple which needs to be " coddled," stewed, 
or hghtly boiled, being yet sour, and unfit for eating whilst raw. 
The Squab pie, famous in Cornwall, contains Apples, and onions 
allied with mutton. 

" Of wheaten walls erect your paste, 
Let the round mass extend its breast : 
Next slice your apples picked so fresh ; 
Let the fat sheep supply its flesh ; 
Then, add an onion's pungent juice — 
A sprinkling — be not too profuse ! 
Well mixt these nice ingredients, sure, 
May gratify an epicure." 

For Apple-cake, peel, and slice thinly six pounds of good baking 
apples ; dissolve four pounds of lump sugar in a pint of water ; 
add the apples, flavoured with lemon-peel and cloves, and boil 
tor one hour. Put into moulds, and keep in a cool, dry place. 
They will remain good for a long time. Some cooks ornament 
with split bleached almonds, and call this " apple hedgehog," 

" Long while, for ages unimproved we stood, 
And Apply Pye was still but homely food, 
When God-like Edgar of the Saxon Line, 
Polite of Taste, and Studious to refine, 
In the Dessert Perfumery Quinces cast, 
And perfected with Cream, the rich repast. 
Hence we proceed the outward parts to trim, 
With crinkum cranks adorn the polished brim. 
And each fresh Pye the pleased spectator greets 
With Virgin Fancies, and with New Conceits." 

Art of Cookery 1709. 

An apple and apricot pudding gives the best flavoured 
preparation of apples that is made, particularly when Grey 
Russets, or Wellingtons are used. This pudding is provided 
with a suet crust, and is carefully boiled. 

In America " Apple slump " is a pie consisting of Apples, 
molasses, and bread crumbs, baked in an earthen pan. This is 
known to New Englanders as " Pan dowdy," a very popular 
dish in some parts of Canada. It is made there in a deep 
earthen baking dish which has been liberally buttered all over 
the inside, and then lined with sUces of scones well buttered, and 
sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon. Some good-sized apples 
are peeled, cored, and shred, with which the dish is to be filled, 



56 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

adding half a cup of water poured in, also a cupful of brown 
sugar, and two tablespoonfuls of molasses. The dish is then 
finished ofi with a crust of sliced scones, and covered over by a 
plate, to be baked in a slow oven for one and a half hours. When 
done, the " Pan dowdy " is turned out, and served with sweet 
sauce, or cream, if appropriate. This is an excellent form of 
food for growing children in cold weather. 

The botanical name of an apple tree is Pyrus malus, of which 
schoolboys are wont to make ingenious uses by playing on the 
latter word : — 

" Malo, I had rather be, 
Malo, in an apple-tree, 
Malo, than a wicked man, 
Malo, in adversity. 

Or, again, " Mea mater mala est sus," which bears as its most 
literal translation, " My mother is a depraved old sow," but the 
intentional reading of which signifies, " Run, mother ! the sow 
is eating our apples." The term " Adam's apple," which is 
applied to the most prominent part in front of a person's neck, 
is based on the superstition that a piece of the forbidden fruit 
stuck in Adam's throat, and caused this lump to remain. When 
Sam Weller, in Pickwick, had to afiix his signature to a couple 
of legal instruments at the Bank of England for proving his 
mother-in-law's will, this undertaking, " from Mr. Weller's 
habit of printing, was a work of so much labour and time that the 
officiating clerk peeled, and ate three Ribstone pippins while it 
was performing." " There was concocted in Gerard's day an 
ointment with the pulpe of apples, and swines' grease, and rose- 
water, which was used to beautifie the face, and to take away 
the roughnesse of the sldn, and which was called in the shops 
' pomatum,' from the apples, ' poma ' whereof it was prepared." 
Figuratively the " apples of Sodom " signify something which 
disappoint one's hopes, or frustrate one's desires. They sym- 
bolize a fruit which was formerly reputed to grow on, or near 
the site of the BibHcal city, Sodom. It was, as described by 
Josephus, and other writers, externally of fair appearance, but 
turning to smoke and ashes when plucked. 

Among the Thebans of old the apple was held sacred to 
Hercules. They were long accustomed to offer a sheep annually 
on the altar of this deity, but upon one occasion, because of the 
river being swollen with heavy rains, they could not convey 



APPLE. 57 

the sheep across it for such a purpose. Therefore, knowing the 
Greek word " medon " to signify both a sheep and an apple, 
they substituted the latter, having stuck wooden pegs in its 
under surface to represent the sheep's legs ; and this fruit they 
dedicated to the god always afterwards. 

Very pathetic are the verses of Christopher Cranch (1880) in 
Busy, Crowded New York City, touching 

The Old Apple Woman. 

" She sits by the side of a turbulent stream, 

That rushes and rolls for ever, 
Up and down like a weary dream 

In the trance of a burning fever : 
Up and down in the long Broadway 

It flows with its endless paces ; 
Down and up through the noisy day, 

A river of feet, and of faces. 

Withered and dry like a leafless bush 

That clings to the bank of a torrent. 
Year in, year out, in the whirl and the push, 

She sits, of the city's current. 
Apples and cakes, and candy to sell, 

Daily before her lying ; 
The ragged newsboys know her well. 

The rich never think of buying. 

Year in, year out, in her dingy shawl. 

The wind and the rain she weathers. 
Patient and mute at her humble stall ; 

But few are the coppers she gathers. 
The loud carts rattle in thunder and dust. 
Gay Fashion sweeps by in its coaches. 
With an absent stare she mumbles her crust, 

Being past complaint, and reproaches : 

Yet in her heart there remains the hope 

Of a Father's love, and pity : 
For her the clouded skies shall ope'. 

And the gates of a heavenly City." 

As a remedy against pride, " Bear in mind," said Spurgeon, 
" we are all descended from a certain disreputable old gardener, 
who was turned out of his Master's garden for stealing His 
apples." 

The wild Apple tree (scrab, or crab), armed with thorns, growa 
in our fields, and hedgerows, furnishing verjuice in its fruit, 
which abounds with tannin, and is highly astringent, being of 
very helpful use against some forms of chronic diarrhoea. For 



58 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

crab-apple jam, choose some of the largest crab apples ; peel, 
score, and slice them ; to each pound of these add one and a 
quarter pounds of lump sugar ; and boil gently for three-quarters 
of an hour to a proper consistence. Verjuice also contains 
citric acid, about ten grains in an ounce. If a piece of a cut 
crab apple be rubbed on warts first pared to the quick, it will 
efEectually cure them. Warts are brought about by the hacillus 
porri. " Their disappearance when charmed away by this or 
that whimsical method, is due," says Dr. Plowright, " to an 
auto-immunization, such as occurs likewise with regard to ring- 
worm, leaving the child immune for the remainder of its life." 
But this would not obtain in the case of adults, or old persons, 
from whose skin warts may be similarly dispelled by incanta- 
tion, etc. The greater probability is a physical effect produced 
on their skin by the mental suggestion. Verjuice — formerly 
verjuyce— may be expressed from other green crude fruits, such 
as unripe grapes, etc. " Having a crabbed face of her own, 
she'll eat the less verjuice with her mutton." Again, " His 
sermons with satire are plenteously verjuiced." Being rich in 
tannin, verjuice is a most useful application for old sprains. 
Similarly, a vinegar poultice put on cold is an effectual remedy 
for sprains and bruises ; it will also sometimes arrest the growth 
of scrofulous enlargements of bones. The poultice should be 
made with vinegar and oatmeal, or with the addition of bread- 
crumb, as was directed in the Pharmacoposia Chirurgensis (1794:). 

APRICOT {See Marmalade). 

The Apricot, Armeniaca, is a beautiful stone fruit,; of a richj 
reddish, yellow colour, " shining," as Ruskin has said, '' in sweet 
brightness of golden velvet." Its name originated in the 
Roman epithet " prcBcox," early ; because of its ripening so soon 
in the season. Shakespeare has told of it as " apricock." At 
the Cape, Apricots, dried and salted, are commended as remedial 
against sea sickness. They go by the name of " Mebos," and 
are a dehcious confection. 

The stones of Apricots are imported because of their kernels, 
which contain Noyau freely. At Cairo the pulp is made into a 
luscious paste, which is slightly dried, and then rolled, incor- 
porating the kernels. In Italy the fruit is cut in half, the stones 
being removed, and the pulp spread out for a while in a spent 



ARROWROOT. 59 



oven. These are the dried " Italian Apricots " of the shops. 
Take soft, ripe Apricots, lay them in salt water (about two ounces 
of salt to a quart bottle) for a few hours; then spread them 
on a mat to dry in the sun. The next day press them between 
the hands to flatten, and to let the stones come out. Again the 
next day repeat the same process. At the Cape these generally 
dry, and become " Mebos," after three or four days in the sun ; 
but if the weather should be damp they may be dried in heated 
rooms, or in a cool oven. To crystalhze the " Mebos," lay them 
in lime water for five minutes till they feel nicely tender ; then 
take them out, and ivipe them with a soft cloth, and rub coarse 
crystallized sugar well into each fruit. One and a half pounds 
of the sugar will serve for one pound of Mebos. Next pack 
closely in jars, with plenty of sugar interposed, and cork well. 
A green Apricot tart is considered by many persons the best tart 
that is made ; but a green Apricot pudding is still better, just as 
a cherry dumpling is superior to a cherry tart. As to the 
medicinal virtues which have been attributed to what old John 
Gerarde, Master in Chirurgeries, 163o, styled the abreoock tree, 
" the fruit thereo? being taken after meat, do corrupt, and 
putrifie in the stomacke ; oeing first eaten before meat they easily 
descend, and cause other meats to passe down the sooner ; but 
the virtues of the leaves of this tree are not yet found out." 

ARROWROOT. 

This is a starch obtained from the roots of several species of 
Maranta, cJniefly the variety " Arundinacea " (West Indian). 
Brazilian Arrowroot (tapioca meal) is got from the roots of the 
Manihot xttUissima, after first withdrawing their poisonous juice. 
English Arrowroot is made from the potato ; and Portland 
Arrowroot from the corms of the Arum maculatum (" lords and 
ladies "). When dry. Arrowroot starch (eighty per cent) is put 
for packing into new barrels lined with paper, else it would 
become contaminated by surrounding flavours. 

The absorption of Arrowroot, if simply prepared with 
water as a food, is altogether complete. Hence this starch is 
specially valuable in the treatment of irritative, or continued 
diarrhoea. But it does not furnish any proteid nourishment for 
growth, or muscular development. Furthermore, for contri- 
buting bodily warmth arrowroot (unless combined with milk 



60 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

and sugar) is of but feeble effect. Dr. Hutchison tells us that 
a cupful of water- arrowroot contains only about thirty grains 
of starch. It would afEord to the body less than a two 
hundredth part in fuel value of what even an invalid requires 
daily. The cheap kinds of arrowroot are quite as nourishing 
as those which are expensive. 

ARTICHOKE. 

DiETETicALLY are used the Jerusalem Artichoke, {Hdianthus 
tuberosus), of the Sunflower order, and the Globe Artichoke 
{Cinara maxima anglicana), which is a magniined thistle. The 
tubers of the former, being dug up, are red outside, and white 
within ; they contain sugar, iron, albumin, an aromatic principle, 
and water. Formerly these tubers were baked in pies, with beef 
marrow, dates, ginger, raisins, and sack. They do not afford 
any starch, but yield 2 per cent of inuMn, — an allied element. 
When first introduced into England, this Artichoke was " a 
dainty for a monarch ! " but the tuberous roots have none of 
the potato's properties, being more of the turnip nature. As 
containing sugar in considerable quantities, their nutritive value 
is but slight ; the more the tubers are chilled the better their 
quality. The term Jerusalem is a corruption of Oirasole, a 
Sunflower, turning " vers le soleil," towards the sun ; from 
which beneficent orb is mainly derived the oil-producing 
pabulum of the vigorous, sturdy, large flower, giving a practical 
lesson to the invalid as to the marvellous beneficial effects of 
direct open sunshine; the more the better, of course under 
proper precautions. In Bomhey & Son (Dickens), at Leamington 
Spa, the languid old would-be juvenile Mrs. Skewton, full of 
afiectations, and fashionable airs, having disposed herself in a 
studied attitude on the sofa, gives her hand condescendingly to 
old Major Bagstocke, when he pays her a visit on a broiling 
summer morning, and tells him with a simper, he " actually 
smells of the sun ; is absolutely tropical." By a curious perver- 
sion of terms Artichoke soup, or Jerusalem soup, has been 
turned into Palestine soup. 

To bake these tubers, peel and trim the required number, put 
them into a covered baking dish, using plenty of butter ; season 
with salt and pepper ; bake in a brisk oven for thirty minutes. 
When done they should be of a rich, brown colour. Serve them 



A RTI CHOKE. 61 



while hot. They contain some amount of gummy substance, 
which makes them mucilaginous when boiled ; and the water in 
which they are boiled becomes quite a thick jelly when cold, 
making an excellent foundation for sauces. " As to the broad 
torus of the Sunflower, ere it comes to expand, and show its 
golden face, this being dressed as the Artichoke, is to be eaten 
for a daintie. I once made macaroons with the ripe, blanched 
seeds, but the turpentine so domineered over all that they did 
not answer expectations." 

Turpentine consists of an essential hydrocarbon oil, and a resin, 
" colophony ; " it exudes from the incised bark of pine trees as an 
oleo-resin, which we term spirit of turpentine. When swallowed 
in a dose of from eight to twenty drops in a httle milk, it promotes 
perspiration, and stimulates the bronchial mucous membrane. 
A larger dose might cause congestion of the kidneys, and stran- 
gury. For bleeding from the lungs five drops are to be given 
every half hour whilst needed. Quite small doses of turpentine, 
four drops or less, in milk, or on sugar, will promptly relieve 
kidney congestion. A pleasant form in which turpentine can be 
given is when made into a confection with honey and liquorice 
powder. In the low stages of bronchial pneumonic catarrh, 
turpentine will often prove specifically a saving sheet-anchor to 
rescue the patient. A capital way of then administering it is as 
turpentine punch. Rub a little fresh lemon rind on a lump of 
sugar : then drop from fifteen to twenty minims of spirit of 
turpentine on the lump of white sugar, and dissolve the same in a 
wineglassful of hot whisky punch ; or the turpentine may be 
made into a smooth emulsion with yolk of egg, and peppermint 
water. It is to be noted that a destructive microbe, diplococcus 
pneumonias, underlies the lung-inflammation, and must be 
combated with germicidal remedies, turpentine being one of 
these. The inhalation of oxygen gas should be combined there- 
with in advanced severe cases. 

Sunflower seeds if browned in the oven as you would coffee, 
and then made into an infusion after being freshly ground like 
that berry, serve admirably for the relief of whooping cough. 
Sweeten the decoction, and let the affected child drink it freely, 
especially at night. 

The tubers of the Jerusalem Artichoke contain 80 per cent of 
water, 2 per cent of nitrogenized substance, a minute percentage 
of fat, 5 per cent of sugar, I per cent of inulin, and nearly ] per 



62 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

cent of other carbohydrates (warming constituents) which are 
transformable into sugar. Because all these leading principles 
are very soluble in water, the tubers should be stewed, and served 
with the juice, rather than boiled, and then taken out of their 
water. Again they are good if cooked av, gratin, with whole 
capers instead of cheese ; layers of artichoke with bread crumb 
between, adding the capers, and small bits of butter. These 
tubers contain 4 per cent more water than potatoes do. If 
served with milk, the Jerusalem Artichoke curdles this just as 
rennet acts. 

Jerusalem Artichokes may be scalloped, to imitate scalloped 
oysters. Cut up a few of these Artichokes, and stew them till 
tender. Put one ounce of butter into a saucepan, and when it is 
melted dredge in flour enough to dry it up ; add a little white 
stock from " bread soup," and give one boil. Now put back the 
Artichokes, with some pepper, and salt, and a Uttle cream. 
Have ready some buttered scalloped oyster tins, lay the Arti- 
chokes in them, and as much Uquid as they will hold ; cover them 
over with bread crumbs, upon which drop a little melted butter. 
Brown them before the fire, or in the oven, and serve very hot 
indeed. Or, by another way, the remnant of cold boiled Arti- 
chokes from a previous meal may be utilized. Six good-sized 
ones will be required for the purpose ; rub these vegetables 
through a wire sieve, and stir into them two tablespoonfuls of 
thick raw cream, with one wineglassful of liquified butter ; 
season to taste with salt, pepper, and a dust of cayenne. Scald, 
skin, and remove the bones from half a dozen fine sardines, and 
press the flesh hkewise through the sieve, mix it with the Arti- 
choke paste, and add sufficient grated bread-crumbs to work it 
to a not too stiff paste. Have ready some oyster shells, which 
must be scrupulously scrubbed first, and pile a small quantity 
of the mixture upon each ; then strew bread crumbs over the 
surface, and bake in a quick oven until just dehcately browned, 
no real cooking being needed ; serve very hot indeed, and garnish 
with fresh parsley. 

The fresh juice of these Artichokes being pressed out before 
the plant blossoms, was employed in former days for restoring 
the hair of the head, even when the case seemed hopeless, and 
the person was quite bald. As a fact not generally known, it 
may be stated casually that red-haired individuals are credited 
with an immunity from baldness. Three dark hairs, being of 



ASPARAGUS. 68 



finer texture, occupy the space as a rule of one red hair. With 
respect to the practice of shaving, Pepys tells suggestively, and 
amusingly in his diary, May 31, 1662, "I did in a sudden fit 
cut ofi all my beard, which I had been a great while bring- 
ing up : only that I may with my pumice stone do my 
whole face, as I now do my chin, and to save time : which 
I find a very easy way, and gentle." 

Evelyn has styled the Globe Artichoke " a noble thistle." 
It contains phosphorus in the form of phosphoric acid, and 
presents as edible parts a middle pulp, together with other soft 
delicate pulp at the base of each floret. " This middle pulp," 
writes Gerarde (1636), " when boiled with the broth of fat flesh, 
and with pepper added, makes a dainty dish, being pleasant to 
the taste, and accounted good to procure bodily desire." " The 
Heads being sht in quarters, first eaten raw with oyl, a little 
vinegar, salt and pepper, do gratefully recommend a glass of wine," 
(as Dr. Musset says,) " at the end of meals." " The same true 
Artichoke," told Aristotle, " has the power of curdling milk, and 
transforming it into yourt ; therefore it should not be eaten 
therewith, but with pepper, which does not generate wind, and 
which clears the hver : and this is the reason why donkeys, who 
eat largely of such thistles, have better stomachs than men." 
Dr. MetchnikofE now advises a diet of curdled milk for pro- 
longing human life. An ancient stockinger, of Nottingham, in 
the eighteenth century, lived to a great age on this particular 
food. It was his custom to have fourteen bowls of milk stand- 
ing on his window sill, so as to ensure one daily, of the requisite 
age, (fourteen days,) for his consumption. 

ASPARAGUS. 

The title Asparagus comes from Sparage, of Persian origin, 
and its form Sparagus became corrupted by popular etymology 
into Sparagrass, and Sparrowgrass, sometimes called simply 
" grass " ; each of which terms was until recently in good 
literary use. The part of the plant which is supplied for eating 
is the turion, or young shoots, covered with small scales in place 
of leaves. These sprouts contain asparagin, a crystalline sub- 
stance which is an amide of aspartic acid, being sometimes called 
" althein," and found also in the juice of beets, in the sprouts of 
cereals, and in leguminous seeds during germination. The 



64 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

chemical properties of asparagus are acetate of potash, phosphate 
of potash, and mannite, with wax, and the green resinous 
asparagin. The shrubby stalks of the plant bear red, coral-like 
berries, which yield when ripe, grape-sugar, and spargancin. 

At Aix-les-Bains the eating of Asparagus forms part of the 
curative treatment for rheumatic gout. This vegetable was 
formerly known in England as " paddock cheese " — A syrup 
thereof is employed medicinally in Prance ; taken at the evening 
meal asparagus conduces to sleep. 

" Your infant pease t' asparagus prefer, 
Which to the supper you may best defer." 

The water in which Asparagus is cooked will serve to do good 
against rheumatism, though somewhat disagreeable to drink. 
Asparagin, which is technically amido-succinamio acid (being 
contained likewise in the potato) is of no direct nutritive value, 
but it plays a useful part, when taken dietetically, within the 
intestines, by limiting putrescent changes, and so promoting 
fuller digestion. 

" Nothing," writes John Evelyn in his Book of Salads, " next 
to flesh is more nourishing than Asparagus, but in this country 
we overboil them, and dispel their volatile salts ; the water should 
boil before they are put in." A salad of cold boiled Asparagus 
was an early Enghsh way of serving this vegetable. Gerarde 
advised that " Asparagus should be sodden in flesh broth, 
and eaten, or boiled in fair water, then seasoned with oil, 
pepper, and vinegar, being served up as a salad." This 
vegetable may fairly be given in diabetes, with a hope of its 
doing specific good. Though not producing actual sucrose in 
the urine when eaten freely by a healthy person, yet it forms, 
and excretes therein a substance which answers to the 
reactions observed by physicians if testing for sugar (except 
as to the fermentation test). The pecuhar fixed principle 
asparagin, whilst stimulating the kidneys, and imparting a 
particular strong smell to the urine, after partaking of the shoots, 
exercises at the same time by the green resin with which it is 
combined, gentle sedative effects on the heart, becalming nervous 
palpitation of that organ. This asparagin occurs in crystals 
which may be reduced to powder, one grain whereof, when given 
three times a day, proves useful for relieving dropsy from diffi- 
culties of the heart. The same can be got hkewise from the 
roots of liquorice, and marsh-mallow. Asparagus grows wild 



ASPARAGUS. 65 



on some parts of the English coast. Juvenal makes mention of 
a large lobster on a table surrounded with asparagus ; and 
promises (in Satire xi.) to his friend Perseus a plate of mountain 
asparagus, which had been gathered by his farmer's wife. 

" Moutani 
Asparagi posito, quos legit Tillioa, fuso." 

Originally the Asparagus shoot grew from twelve to twenty 
feet high. Under the Romans stems of this plant were raised, 
each three pounds in weight, heavy enough to knock down an 
attendant slave with. But the former G-recian doctors 
denounced Asparagus as injurious to the sight. 

" BngUsh cooks," says Sir Henry Thompson, " rarely follow 
the proper method for boiling Asparagus, which should be as 
follows : The stalks of a stouter sort should be cut of exactly 
equal lengths, and boiled standing, tops upward, in a deep 
saucepan, nearly two inches of the heads being out of the water ; 
the steam will then suffice to cook these heads, which form the 
most tender part of the plant ; at the same time the tougher 
. stalky portion is rendered succulent by the longer boiling which 
this plan permits. Instead of the orthodox twenty minutes 
allowed to average Asparagus lying horizontally in the saucepan, 
after the usual Enghsh fashion, (which only half cooks the stalk, 
and overcooks the head, diminishing its flavour, and consistence), 
a period of from thirty to fifty minutes, on the plan recom- 
mended, will render delicious fully a third more of the head, 
which is cooked by the steam alone. One reason why it is not 
uncommon to hear the best product of the fields of Argenteuil 
depreciated in this country, and our own Asparagus preferred, 
is that the former is insufficiently cooked at most English tables." 
Pliny mentions in glowing terms the alimentary use of Asparagus. 
Its sprouts contain 94 per cent of water, nearly 2 per cent of 
nitrogenized matter, some fat, a minute percentage of sugar, and 
over 2 per cent of other organic substances. The asparagin 
forms one seventh part of the whole amount of non-nitrogenized 
substance. Formerly the roots were also used medicinally, and 
the juice of the red berries was an ingredient in what was known 
as the Benedictine electuary. 

Mortimer Collins tells that Liebig, or some other scientist, 
maintains that asparagin, the alkaloid of asparagus, develops 
form in the human brain ; so that if you get hold of an artistic 
child, and give him plenty of asparagus, he is likely to grow into 

5 



66 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

a second Rafiaelle. Evelyn presented some shoots " raised at 
Battersea, in a natural, sweet, and well-cultivated soil, sixteen, 
each, of which weighed about four ounces, to his wife, showing 
' what Solum, ccelum, and industry will effect.' " 

A really good soup, of special nutritive virtues, can be made 
with the tough ends of asparagus sprouts, cooked, and recooked 
in the same water until they have become soft, then mashed, and 
rubbed through a coarse sieve, adding a pint of milk thickened 
with flour, and a pint of the water in which the vegetable was 
boiled; also thickening this water with two tablespoonfuls of 
flour into which two tablespoonfuls of fresh butter are smoothly 
intermixed. 

Mrs. Barle (" third Pot Pourri ") found Asparagus quite 
poisonous in her case. She wrote to ask Dr. Haig how this fact 
might be explained. He then repUed that as far as he knew 
Asparagus is harmless. But three years afterwards he wrote to 
her again, telling " what he felt sure would interest her, that the 
Asparagus is the cause of all your troubles^ when you eat it so 
freely in the Spring." In a leaflet of his it is stated positively 
that the " Xanthin of certain vegetable substances, peas, beans, 
lentils, mushrooms, asparagus, etc., is as pernicious as that of 
fish and flesh;" but this dictum is certainly questionable. 

Charles Lamb gave it as his opinion that Asparagus seems as 
a vegetable food to inspire gentle thoughts. Dickens narrates, 
in David Copferfidd, concerning Dr. Blimber's educational 
estabhshment at Brighton, where little Paul was placed : " It 
was a great hot-house in which there was a forcing apparatus 
incessantly at work ; all the boys blew before their time. Mental 
green peas were produced at Christmas, and intellectual asparagus 
all the year round. Mathematical gooseberries (very sour ones, 
too) were common at untimely seasons, and these from mere 
sprouts of bushes, under Dr. BUmber's cultivation." 

Medicinally a fluid extract is made from Asparagus tops by 
the manufacturing chemist, which proves most helpful in dropsy 
(whether because of obstructed hver, or of defective heart action), 
by augmenting the flow of urine, and thus carrying off the 
dropsical effusion. Teaspoonful doses of this fluid extract should 
be given twice a day with one or two tablespoonfuls of water. 

The chemical constituent principles on which Asparagus 
depends chiefly for its action on perspiration, and urination, are 
sulphuretted, and phosphuretted hydrogen. 



.-JSS'S MILK. 67 



The old English name " Sperage " bears reference to an 
ancient usage of feathery brushes made with sprays of the wild 
plant, to be employed for sprinkling (" asperging ") the con- 
gregations in old Koman churches of Southern Europe. At 
Ravenna the sprouts have been sold three to the pound. 



ASS'S MILK. 

There are various milks used for dietetic purposes, some of 
these being likewise medicinal. Comprised among them are the 
milk of cud-chewing animals, human milk, ass's milk, and mare's 
milk. The essential difEerence between the first two of these 
milks is in the character of the casein, or card, and the propor- 
tions thereof to the other parts which do not clot. The milks of 
all mammals (creatures which give suck), consist of water which 
holds in virtual, or actual solution, salts, sugar, cream and other 
clotting substances, with minute globules of fat uniformly 
suspended throughout the fluid, though tending towards the top 
because of their lighter weight. Dilution with water will not 
alter the fact that cow's milk is acid in reaction, whilst the 
human variety, when drawn directly from the mother's breast, 
is alkaUne. Ass's milk contains less solids than either of the 
other sorts, whilst being more rich in sugar than the rest (except 
human milk). It is poor in curd, and fat. being therefore hght, and 
easy of digestion. This milk has in every age of physio been valued 
as a prime antidote to wasting from consumption of the lungs. 
Furthermore, leading authorities unanimously pronounce as to 
the superiority of ass's milk for rearing feeble infants. But 
Dr. R. Hutchison disagrees from this generally received notion. 
He complains that being especially poor in fat, which is so 
important for infants, it is of itself ill suited for their nourish- 
ment. Moreover, it is slightly laxative, containing relatively 
more cheesy substance, and less albumin, than human milk. 
" The percentage of fat," says Ellenburger, " is much too low 
to make it proper for habitual use by children." 

An artificial milk of the same nature as that of the ass may be 
easily made (on paper) by diluting cow's milk (thus reducing the 
percentage of sugar, curd, and fat) to the quality of mother's 
milk ; but the difiiculty of digesting the particular curd from 
the cow still remains to be overcome. On the whole, therefore, 
ass's milk is the nearest approach to good milk from the human 



68 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

mother. It is not yielded by the maternal animals unless the 
foals are allowed to be with their mothers in the donkeys' dairy, 
each foal having a smaller pen beside that of its mother. This 
article of nursery requirement fetches six shillings a quart, being 
sold in specially protected sealed bottles. The she-asses are 
milked twice a day, and afford severally from half a pint to a pint 
at each milking. For persons at a distance a milch donkey 
may be hired at the cost of one guinea a week, plus expenses of 
transport. The amusing fact may be remembered, but none 
the less will bear repetition, that Thomas Hood, in his famous 
Ode to Roe Wilson (1843), has drawn a most suggestive moral 
from the story of a consumptive girl for whom ass's milk was 
prescribed : — 

" Once on a time a certain English lass 
Was seized with symptoms of such deep decline, 
Cough, hectic flushes, ev'ry evil sign, 
That,^ — as their wont is at such desperate pass, 
The doctors gave her over — to an ass. 
Accordingly, the grisly shade to bilk. 
Each morn the patient quafE'd a frothy bowl 

Of asinine new milk. 
Robbing a shaggy suckling of a foal. 
Which got proportionately spare, and skinny : 
Meanwhile the neighbours cried, ' poor Mary Ann ! 
She can't get over it ! she never can ! ' 
When lo, — to prove each prophet was a ninny — 
The one that died was the poor wet nurse Jenny. 

To aggravate the case. 

There were but two grown donkeys in the place. 
And most unluckily for Eve's sick daughter 
The other long-ear'd creature was a male. 
Who never in his life had given a pail 
Of milk, or even chalk and water. 
No matter ; at the usual hour of eight 
Down trots a donkey to the wicket gate, 
With Mister Simon Gubbins on his back. 
' Your sarvint, Miss — a werry spring-like day ; — 
Bad time for hasses, tho' ! good lack ! good lack ! 
Jenny be dead. Miss ; but I've brought 'ye Jack ; 
He does'nt give no milk, — but he can bray ! ' " 

" So runs the story ; 
And, in vain self-glory 

Some Saints would sneer at Gubbins for his blindness ; 
But what the better are their pious saws 
To ailing souls than dry hee-haws 
Without the milk of human kindness ? " 

It is a significant fact bearing on this subject, that asses are 



ASTRINGENTS. 69 



not susceptible of any tuberculous disease, such, as pulmonary 
consumption. 

Horace Walpole, and after him Byron, accused Lawrence 
Sterne (1758) of having preferred whining over a dead ass (see 
Sentimental Journey) to relieving a living mother in distress. 

During the siege of Ladysmith, in the recent South African 
war, it became proved that while horseflesh is but sorry fare, and 
that of the dog not to be desired, yet the humble moke is, when 
dressed for table, rather a delicacy than otherwise. Thirty odd 
years ago the experience of the Parisians pointed to the same 
conclusion. Genin, the famous Restaurateur, pronounced that 
the dog was the siege-cook's despair ; its flesh has a particularly 
disagreeable flavour which no seasoning can disguise. But " as 
to the other animal," said he, " I'ane etait rare : on se trouvait 
heureux d'en avoir a quinze, ou vingt francs la livre. Le 
consomme d'ane a un petit gout de noisette tres agreable. En 
rosbif, avec des haricots a la Bretonne, assaisonn6 de sa graisse, 
c'etait un vrai regal." Blia has discoursed of a young ass in 
" Christ's Hospital, five and thirty years ago," to pamper which 
animal, a petty Nero of a schoolmaster nearly starved forty of 
the boys, by exacting contributions to the one half of their bread. 
Incredible as it may seem, he had contrived to smuggle the ass 
in, and keep it upon the leads of the said boys' dormitory. 
" This game went on for better than a week, till the foolish beast, 
not able to fare well but he must cry roast meat ; foolisher, alas, 
than any of his species in the fables, waxing fat and kicking, in 
the fullness of bread, one unlucky minute must needs proclaim 
his good fortune to the world below ; and laying out his simple 
throat blew such a ram's-horn blast as (toppling down the walls 
of his own Jericho) set concealment any longer at defiance. 
The client was dismissed, with certain attentions, to Smithfield, 
but I never got to learn that the patron underwent any censure 
on the occasion." 

ASTRINGENTS. 

The Crab-apple has already been referred to as furnishing 
verjuice — a powerful astringent — of particular use when applied 
externally for old sprains. 

Tannin in another form, or gallo-tannic acid, which is contained 
plentifully in what are known as Oak-apples (or galls), as well as 
in oak-tree bark, will serve to restrain bleedings if taken 



70 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

internally ; and the bark when finely powdered, and inhaled 
pretty often, has proved very beneficial against consumption of 
the lungs in its early stages. Working tanners are well" known to 
be particularly exempt from this disease, in all probability through 
their constantly inhaling the peculiar aroma given ofi from the 
tanpits ; and a similar remedial efiect may be produced by using 
constantly as a snufE some fresh oak bark, dried, and reduced to 
a sufficiently fine powder, whilst also inhaling day after day the 
steam given ofE from recent oak bark infused in boiUng water. 
A strong decoction of oak bark is most useful for applying to 
reduce prolapse of the lower bowel, through a relaxed 
fundament. 

Gospel Oaks were formerly resting stations for short rehgious 
services when beating the parish bounds. 

" Dearest, bury me 
Under that holy Oke, or Gospel tree. 
Where, though thou see'st not, thou may'st think upon 
Me, when thou yearly goest procession." — Berrick, 

For a useful astringent drink, as advised by Dr. Yeo, add to a 
pint of boiling milk a quarter of an ounce of powdered alum, 
previously mixed with three or four tablespoonfuls of hot water ; 
then strain. Again, for croup, combine a teaspoonful of 
powdered alum (sulphate of alumina and potash) with two 
teaspoonfuls of sugar, and give this promptly ; when almost 
immediate relief will follow. 

BACON (See also Pork). 

The side, and belly of a pig are called Bacon, when salted and 
cured in a way similar to that which converts the leg of pork 
into ham. If the whole side of a pig has been salted, and smoke- 
dried, it is known as a flitch of bacon. In many districts 
saltpetre and sugar are used, in addition to salt, for curing the 
meat to be smoke-dried. 

Abo at Germany the bacon is so splendidly cured that it may 
be eaten without any further cooking. But the pig is more 
liable to diseased flesh than the ox, or sheep, because of its 
greediness for unwholesome food, though this risk may be 
guarded against by care in feeding the animal. A harmful 
parasite, the Trichina sfiralis, is frequently noticed in Germany 
as infesting the human body, through eating smoked ham, and 



BACON. 71 



sausages, in an uncooked state. The black pig is considered by 
breeders the best of its kind for food. Dr. Hutchison tells 
that the comparative indigestibiUty of pork is shown by 
the fact that three and a half ounces oi it require three hours 
for their complete digestion, as compared with two hours for 
an equal quantity of beef. This difficulty is fully accounted 
loi by the large accumulation of fat between the fibres of the 
pork-flesh. On the other hand, the fat of bacon seems to be 
in a granular form, which is not difficult of digestion ; so that 
this can often be eaten by persons to whom other kinds of fat 
are intolerable. For whicli reason bacon is an invaluable aid 
for nourishing delicate children, and diabetic, or consumptive 
patients, in whose diet the free use of fat is indicated. 

From the very earliest times the wild pig seems to have 
occupied a foremost place as an article of diet, seeing that the 
bones of the wild boar are found in almost all kitchen middens 
of prehistoric times ; and the animal plays an important rdle in 
ancient Scandinavian legends. Even the Hebrews — for whom 
the pig was condemned as an unclean beast by the Mosaic law — 
must have afterwards set this law at naught in our Saviour's 
time, judging by the herds of swine which fed on the hills near 
the Sea of Tiberias ; since, unless pork was eaten then, it is 
difficult to conceive for what purpose these droves of swine were 
kept. Towards correcting in some measure the grossness of his 
foods, the pig, by instinct, grubs up antiscorbutic roots, and 
knows that a piece of chalk, or a mouthful of cinder, is a 
most sovereign remedy against his indigestion. The insalubrity 
of pork is generally owing to the uncleanly, and unwholesome 
feeding of the animal ; and the quality of its food has a marked 
influence on the flavour of its flesh. Thus, pigs fed mainly on 
potatoes have a very white and tasteless meat, whilst the flesh 
of those porcine animals whose food has consisted largely of 
beech-nuts, has an oily taste. 

The notion that eating pork tends to cause cancer is disproved 
as regards the .Tews (of whom a considerable number are no 
longer strict adherents to the Hebrew dietary laws) ; and 
doctors who practice among them have learnt that cancer 
attacks orthodox Jews as often as it assails the most heterodox 
in diet of their race. Nevertheless, these people are rigidly 
Careful about the purity, and quality of what they eat, and 
therefore, as it would seem, cancer is considerably less prevalent 



72 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

among them than among the general population of our 
country. 

Lard is the fat of pork melted down, and sold in bladders, or 
tubs ; the lower the heat at which it is melted, the smoother and 
less granular it is. Usually water is mixed with it in melting, and 
often much water is left commingled. The French word " lard " 
signifies in the first place bacon, whilst our English lard is termed 
in France " saindoux." Good lard should contain 99 per cent 
of hog's fat. In the peasant speech of Devon it is named " mort." 
" Aw, Lor, Missis ! dawntee tell me nort about butter ; poor 
vokes' chillern be foced tu ayte curd an' mort now times be sa 
bad." In Lincolnshire lard is known as seam, and by analogy 
the white wood-anemone, as distinguished from the yellow 
buttercup, is the seam cup. In Dryden's Ovid we read of Baucis 
and Philemon : — 

" By this the boiling kettle had prepared : 
And to the table sent the smoking lard, 
On which with eager appetite they dine, 
A savoury bit that served to relish wine." 

Charles Lamb, as is well known to all readers of Elia, has 
devoted a delightful essay to the subject of Roast Pig, and more 
especially to that luxurious and toothsome dainty called 
" Crackling," showing how this Crackling was first exultingly 
discovered. The said immortal rhapsody, a " Dissertation upon 
Roast Pig " never tires by repetition : " Of all the delicacies 
in the whole m,undus edibilis I will maintain it to be the most 
delicate, j)rmceps obsoniorum. I speak not of your grown 
porkers — things between pig and pork, — these hobbledehoys, — 
but a young and tender suckling, under a moon old, guiltless as 
yet of the sty, with no original speck of the " amor immunditiae, the 
hereditary failing of the first parent, yet manifest ; his voice as 
yet not broken, but something between a childish treble and a 
grumble, the mild forerunner, or frodudium, of a grunt. He 
must he roasted. I am not ignorant that our ancestors ate them 
seethed, or boiled ; but what a sacrifice of the exterior tegument ! 
There is no flavour comparable, I will contend, to that of the 
crisp, tawny, well-watched, not over-roasted cracMing, as it is 
well called ; the very teeth are invited to theii share of the 
pleasure at this banquet, in overcoming the coy, brittle resistance, 
— with the adhesive oleaginous — 0, call it not fat — but an in- 
definable sweetness growing up to it, the tender blossoming of fat, 



BA CON. 73 



fat cropped in the bud, taken in the shoot, in the first innocence, 
the cream, and quintessence of the child-pig's yet pure food ! 
the lean — no lean, but a kind of animal manna — or rather fat 
and lean (if it must be thus), so blended and running into each 
other that both together make but one ambrosian result, or 
common substance ! He is the best of Sapors ! Pine-apple is 
great. She is indeed almost too transcendent ; a deUght, if 
not sinful, yet so like to sinning that really a tender-conscienced 
person would do well to pause ; too ravishing foi mortal taste, 
she woundeth, and exooriateth the lips that approach her ; like 
lovers' kisses, she biteth ; she is a pleasure bordering on pain, 
from the fierceness and insanity of her relish ; but she stoppeth 
at the palate ; she meddleth not with the appetite, and the 
coarsest hunger might barter her complacently for a mutton-chop. 
Pig— let me speak his praise — is no less provocative of the appetite 
- than he is satisfactory to the criticalness of the censorious palate. 
Behold him while he is doing ! it seemeth rather a refreshing 
warmth than a scorching heat that he is so passive to. How 
equably he twirleth round the string ! Now he is just done. 
To see the extreme sensibility of that tender age, he hath wept 
out his pretty eyes ; radiant jellies, shooting stars ! Then see 
him in the dish, his second cradle, how meek he lieth ! The 
strong man may fatten on him, and weakling refuseth not 
his mild juices. So much for the sucking-pig ; then his sauce 
is to be considered. Decidedly a few bread-crumbs done up 
with his Uver and brains, and a dash of mild sage. But banish, 
dear Mrs. Cook, I beseech you, the whole Onion tribe ! Barbecue 
your whole hogs to your palate, if you will ; steep them in 
shalots ; stuff them out with plantations of the rank, and guilty 
garlic ; you cannot poison them, or make them stronger than 
they are ; but consider he (the childish porker) is a weakling — 
a flower ! " 

In classic Roman times the Emperor Claudius entered 
the Senate one day, and called out, " Conscript Fathers ! 
is it possible to Hve without pickled pork in slices ? " And the 
venerable Fathers replied straightway, " Oh, Sire, it is better 
to die than to have to live without salt pork." A leg of pork, 
when skinned, and roasted, is called by many persons mock goose. 
Some cooks, when pork is about to be served, score the skin 
in diamonds, and take out every second squaie. The fat of 
pork consists almost entirely of palmitic, and oleic glycerides. 



74 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Fried bacon fat, and its liquid part, serve usefully to correct 
constipation. And a curious old remedy to stay nose-bleeding 
is vouched-for again recently by Dr. Atkinson — to " take a 
piece of fat bacon, about 2 or 3 inches long, and of sufficient size ; 
cut it into a proper shape, and as large as can be easily forced 
into the nostril ; apply it by pressing into the bleeding nostril, 
and let it remain in place several hours. It controls the haemor- 
rhage, and is not uncomfortable to the patient." 

By the processes of salting, and smoking, the flesh of the hog 
is made more digestible. Like all fat meats, it is deficient in 
water. The Eomans discovered fifty difEerent flavours in pork ; 
and under the hands of their skilled cooks, swine's flesh was often 
transformed into delicate fish, ducks, turtle-doves, or capons. 
With them the Trojan Hog was a favourite dish, which was a 
gastronomic imitation of the Horse of Troy, its inside being 
stufied with asafoetida, and myriads of small game. In 
Lincolnshire, a pig when first put up to fatten, has garlands 
hung round its neck to avert the spell of malicious witches, 
these garlands being made from branches of the Mountain Ash, 
or Wicken-tree, or Witchen Wicken. Truly may it be said 
that without pork there would have been no bacon, and without 
bacon no accomplished cookery. 

" Chowder " is a dish of American origin ; it consists of 
boiled pickled pork, cut in slices, with fried onions, slices of 
turbot, or other fish, and mashed potatoes, all placed alternately 
in a stewpan, and seasoned with spices and herbs. Claret, also 
ketchup, and then simmered together. 

When Benjamin D'Israeli first went as a young man down to 
High Wycombe (1832) on a political canvass among the 
Buckingham farmers, after the week's end, when writing to his 
sister, he said : " I have been to Marathon ; we have hved for 
a week on the Honey of Hymettus, and the Boar of Pentelicus ; 
we found one at a little village — just killed— and purchased 
half of it, but this was not so good as Bradenham pork." It is 
remarkable that the cry of a raven resembles the words " Pork ! 
Pork ! " 

" From the mountains liigh 
The ravens begin with their ' pork, perking ' cry." — Sylvester. 

A pork pie with raisins has for many years held its own at 
farmhouses in the Midlands ; this is a raised pie, in which some 



BA CON. 75 



stoned, and halved raisins are interspersed with the pork ; about 
a quarter of a pound of the fruit to each pound of meat is 
sufficient. So that the full flavour of the pie may be appreciated, 
no sage is to be included, and only a moderate seasoning of salt, 
and pepper is to be used. 

At St. Stephen's, Westminster, in former days, the presiding 
genius over the kitchen arrangements was one Bellamy, famous 
for his pork pies, which have gained immortality, since the elder 
Pitt in his last dying words expressed a wish for one of these 
Bellamy dainties. Sam Weller, expostulating with Mr. Winkle 
for his escapade from Mr. Pickwick, exclaimed : " Come, Sir ! this 
is too rich, as the young lady said when she remonstrated with 
the pastrycook arter he'd sold her a pork pie as had got nothin' 
but fat inside." In 1666 Pepys bought some pork from a butcher, 
who " by the same token commended it as the best in England 
for cloath and colour." The Due de Eichelieu's cook became 
noted by boiling down forty hams to make stock for a single soup. 
Sydney Smith, when writing to Lady Holland in January, 1809, 
said : " Many thanks for two fine Gallicia hams ; but as for boiling 
them in loine, I am not as yet high enough in the Church for that, 
so they must do the best they can in water." But the day of 
getting good old-fashioned country-cured ham, and bacon, is 
practically a thing of the past, particularly in our large cities. 
Instead of its taking three months to cure the meat after the 
patient, old-time, wholesome way, the modern hog walks 
into the packing-house yard in the morning, and within two or 
three days is shipped as cured hams. The beautiful brown colour 
that once was the result of smoking with wood, is now procured 
in a few hours by logwood, or other dyes. The smoky flavour 
is produced by pyrolignic acid ; and, instead of the old-fashioned 
sweet pickle, a composition is used of borax, boracic acid, 
sulphites, salicylic, and benzoic acids. But to paint a ham with 
the acid (pyroligneous) of wood vinegar, is an ineffective sub- 
stitute for smoking in a Hampshire chimney where wood fires 
are burnt, so that the hams treated therein are invariably 
alkaline, with their albumin coagulated by the continued heat, 
and their flesh interpenetrated by creosote fumes, whereby 
microbic engendure therein is prevented. At the Zaduska, 
or Russian luncheon, one dish which is sometimes seen is raw 
sucking-pig, which, though not sounding nice, is distinctly good, 
being served in very small cubes, highly seasoned, and laid on 



76 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

toast. Other fanciful condimentary substances have been 
employed with pig-meat, by this, or that " chef " : — 

" Yet no man lards his pork with orange peel ; 
Or garnishes his lamb with spitch-cook eel." 

Art of Coohery. 

A " pig's whisper " is proverbial as of rapid utterance. "You'll 
find yourself in bed in something less than a pig's whisper," 
said Sam Weller. 

BALM [see Herbs.) 

BANANA. 

The Banana (Musa sapientum), now so popular with us, and 
of such common use as a highly nutritious vegetable product 
of the plantain tree, especially for children (who eat it with gusto), 
was probably an East Indian native fruit. It was cited in the 
sixteenth centnry as dating from Guinea, and is now cultivated 
everywhere throughout the tropics. Bananas have been long 
noted for their efficacy in correcting the fluxes to which 
Europeans are often subject on their first coming into the 
West Indies. An excellent drink is made there from the juice 
of the ripe fruit when fermented ; likewise a marmalade which 
is esteemed as a pectoral of much worth, and is very refresh- 
ing. Three dozen plantains are sufficient to serve a man 
for a week instead of bread. Unfortunately, however, we 
do not get our imported Bananas in a ripe condition. Like 
most other tropical fruits, these have to be plucked before the 
sun has completed its beneficent work of converting their starch 
within the substance of the Bananas into sugar. Such a ripening 
process can only be carried to perfection whilst the fruit is still 
a part of its parent organism, the living plant. What is termed 
ripening here of the Bananas, after importation, is actually only 
a softening, and a step towards decay. But few persons reahse 
this fact with regard to our fruits in England of every kind. 
Dealers will meet the objection that a certain fruit under sale 
is not ripe, with the assurance, " Oh, it will ripen in a few days, 
particularly if put in a greenhouse, or in the warm sunshine." 
It is true that very hard fruit may be made thus to soften, and 
seem mellow ; indeed, it may even need such sun-bakings so as 
to become at all palatable ; but the process is not a ripening ; 
fruit thus treated will presently rot, and cannot be stored for 
the winter. 



BANANA. 77 



For baked Bananas, " take the fruit just after the rind has begun 
to grow golden ; cut ofi each end of the pod, leaving on the 
jacket, after having first washed the Banana. Bake the desired 
number of them thus for twenty or thirty minutes in the oven, 
and serve them then in their jackets ; to be split lengthways, 
and buttered when eaten " (Broadbent). 

The fresh Banana contains 26 per cent of fattening, warming 
sustenance (carbohydrates), with an appreciable quantity of 
building-up material (proteid). If dried in the sun, and well 
sprinkled with sugar. Bananas c jU compare favourably in 
nutritive value with dried figs. Being ground into a flour. 
Bananas will serve for making a bread, which is light, and easy 
of digestion. In America the fruit, whilst unripe, is dried m the 
oven, and then eaten as bread, wldoh may be kept in this condition 
for a long time. It has been asserted that the Banana, when 
largely consumed as food, produces decay of the teeth, this state- 
ment being made because the Brazilians, who hve chiefly on 
Bananas, have, as a rule, shockingly bad teeth ; but it should be 
remembered that their men, women, and children devour sugar 
also to a very unwholesome extent in the shape of sweetmeats, 
and confectionery of all sorts ; moreover, they indulge largely in 
hot infusions of native tea. Already some twelve millions of 
Banana bunches have been exported from Jamaica alone into 
this country. The fruit is twenty-five times more nutritious 
by its starchy constituents than good white bread. A bunch 
of Bananas weighing fifteen pounds will yield three pounds of 
the flour. As the Bananas ripen, their starch becomes converted 
into sugar. Their pulp contains grape sugar, cane sugar, nitro- 
genous matter, cellulose, and fat, with phosphoric elements, 
lime, earthy salts, and some iron. 

To prepare a comp6te of Bananas ; Having peeled the fruit 
when dead ripe— but not a speck beyond this,— and having 
removed any coarse threads, plunge the Bananas into boiling 
water for a few seconds, and then at once drain them. Put the 
fruit into a basin, and coat it with boiling syrup (adding, it may 
be, half a glass of Maraschino to the pint). When cold, dish in 
a pyramid, with the syrup over. For " creamed Bananas," 
mash them with a fork, and place this in a small saucepan ; 
cover with a little hot milk, and add sugar, if desired ; 
then pour it over toast. Excellent Banana sandwiches are to 
be made, the merest dash of honey being substituted for sugar. 



78 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



The Banana is well suited for persons who cannot easily digest 
starchy foods. Stanley, the African traveller, found that a gruel 
prepared with Banana flour, and milk, was the only thing he 
could digest during gastric attacks. In Thoughts on the Universe, 
by Master Byles Gridley (0. Wendell Holmes' Guardian Angel), 
stands recorded the reflection, " What sweet, smooth voices 
the negroes have ! A hundred generations fed on Bananas ! 
Compare them with our apple-eating white folks ! It won't do ! " 

" By reason of its fat-forming constituents being much in 
excess of its muscle-feeding, and nerve-nourishing proteids, the 
Banana," says Dr. R. Hutchison, " is too bulky to be able to 
serve as the main constituent of a healthy diet ; about eighty 
would have to be eaten daily so as to yield a proper supply of 
vital energy for the body. No wonder then that in tropical 
countries, where Bananas are largely consumed, the inhabitants 
are apt to show an undue abdominal development." But this 
computation is surely overdrawn ? A barrel of sugar made 
from Bananas was recently exhibited in New York, the taste 
being pleasant, and palatable, the Banana flavour, full, and 
sweet in itself, conveying a really tropical impression. But 
the great trouble is to make this sugar perfectly dry ; it can 
be sold much cheaper than other sugars. 

BARBERRY {see Fruits). 

Barberry berries, as supplied at the shops, have some excellent 
medicinal virtues. They grow on a cultivated variety of the 
wild shrub Berberis, as found in our Enghsh copses, and hedges, 
particularly about Essex. These small scarlet berries are 
stoncless when old, containing malic and citric acids ; they also 
afford curative principles, " berberin," and " oxyacanthin," 
which exercise a stimulating effect on the liver, and are astringent. 
Barberry jam helps to obviate gravel, and to relieve irritation 
of the bladder. Tusser, in his Good Huswifelie Phijsiche (1573), 
has com.m ended : — 

" Conserve of Barbarie ; Quinces as such, 
With Sirops that easeth the sickly so much." 

A jelly having virtues of this kind may be made by boiling an 
equal weight of the berries (when ripe) and of sugar together, and 
straining ofi the sweet juice to jelly when cool. The syrup of 
Barberries forms, with water, an excellent astringent gargle 



BARLEY. 79 



for sore, relaxed throat. Barberry tea, concocted from the 
yellow bark, will afford prompt relief in an attack of kidney 
colic from gravel. Some of it should be drunk in small quantities 
every five minutes until the pain is subdued. Such a tea of 
infused Barberry twigs is used looaUy in Lincolnshire for persons 
troubled with jaundice, or gall-stones. 

" The good Elizabethan housewife had always by her a store 
of cordials, and restoratives, such as rose-water and treacle, 
herbs for the ague, fumitory water for the liver, cool salads, 
syrups and conserves of Quince, and Barberry." A drink made 
from the Barberry root, and bark, being sweetened with syrup 
of Barberries, has proved remarkably curative of ague. Also a 
jam, or jelly, prepared from the fruit, affords specific help in 
Bright's disease, or albuminuria. Provincially the bush is 
called " Pipperidge ifiefin, a pip, and rouge, red) because of its 
small, scarlet, juiceless fruit. To make Barberry jam, according 
to a good old recipe : " Pick the fruit from the stalks, and 
bake it in an earthen pan ; then press it through a sieve with 
a wooden spoon. Having mixed equal weights of the prepared 
fruit, and of powdered white sugar, put these together in pots, 
and cover the mixture up, setting them in a dry place, and 
having sifted some powdered sugar over the top of each pot." 

Barberries are called '" Rapperdandies " in the North, and 
" Rilts." The ancient Egyptians made a drink from them 
highly esteemed in pestilential fevers. " Elusius setteth it down 
as a wonderful secret which he had from a friend, that if the 
yellow bark of Barberry be steeped in white wine for three hours, 
and be afterwards drunk, it will purge one very marvellously,' 
thus unloading an oppressed liver. The berries upon old 
Barberry bushes are the best fruit for preserving, or for making 
the jelly. 

BARLEY. 

Hordeum vulgare, or Common Barley, affords a grain chiefly 
used in Great Britain for brewing, and distilling, but which 
possesses dietetic, and medicinal virtues of importance. We 
fatten our swine on this cereal made into meal, which is, however, 
less nourishing than wheaten flour, and is apt to purge when 
eaten in bread. The chemical constituents of Barley are starch, 
gluten, albumin, oil, and hordeic acid. From the earliest times 
it has been employed to prepare drinks for the sick, whether in 



80 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

feverish disorders, or as a soothing decoction for sore Uning 
membranes of the chest, and the bladder. Barley is especially 
rich in iron, and phosphoric acid. Barley bread, always of close 
texture, was exclusively used in England as late as the time of 
Charles the First, though, because of its deficiency in gluten, 
it cannot be made light of itself ; if mixed with wheaten flour 
its combination answers very well, and the bread becomes 
palatable. Throughout Cumberland in the seventeenth century 
wheaten bread was an indulgence only allowed about Christmas 
time, even among the principal famiUes. The crust of the 
everlasting goosepie which adorned the table of every county 
magnate, was invariably made of Barley meal, which is rich in 
mineral matter, and contains more fat than wheat. 

If an ounce of gum arabic be dissolved in a pint of a hot 
decoction of Barley, this makes a most soothing drink to allay 
irritation of the bladder, and of the urinary passages. Honey 
may be added beneficially to the decoction for bronchial coughs. 
Barley bread (or porridge) is apt to purge ; but such was in 
ancient times the bread of the Egyptians, likewise of the Jews 
in the days of our Saviour, as we learn from the miracle wrought 
with respect to the lad's five barley loaves, (and two fishes). 
For Barley soup, put a quarter of a cup of well-washed Barley, 
with a bayleaf, and a small blade of mace, into a pint and a half 
of cold water, and boil slowly for three hours. Take out the 
bayleaf, and mace ; then add a small onion (sliced fine), with two 
French carrots (cut in dice), and cook these until tender ; next 
add a pint of milk, a good tablespoonful of butter, with salt and 
pepper to taste ; let it come to the boil, then remove it from 
the fire, and stir into it the yolk of one egg, perhaps beaten 
with two tablespoonfuls of cream. 

Sixty or seventy years ago the breakfast of Cornish apprentice 
lads on a farm was invariably " sky-blue and sinkers." Into a 
three-legged crock fixed over a brisk fire of furze, and turf, was 
poured a quantity of water. While this was coming to the boil 
some Barley-flour was mixed in a basin with scalded milk, and 
the same was emptied into the water in the crock, and allowed 
to boil for a minute or two. Next it was poured into basins 
containing sops of Barley bread. These sops sank to the bottom, 
nothing being visible but the hquid mess, sky-blue in colour, 
and therefore called in its entirety " sky-blue and sinkers," 
being eaten with an iron spoon. As the price of wheat was in 



BEAN. 81 

those days nearly double that of Barley, wheaten bread was a 
dehcacy which the working classes could but rarely afford 
themselves : their ordinary bread, and their pasties, were made 
of Barley-flour. These pasties consisted of a crust mixed 
without fat, or butter, and containing either potatoes, or a few 
pieces of turnip ; a bit of rusty bacon being considered a 
luxury. 

By the ancients a thick, turbid drink was made with Barley, 
and known as Orgeat. This became adopted by the French, 
who extended the name to " Ptisana," and subsequently to 
other vegetable decoctions made for invalids. Thus it has 
happened that the name Orgeat has sHpped away from Barley, 
and become attached to preparations of sweet almonds. 

Formerly likewise, the confectioner's Barley sugar (nowadays 
simply sugar boiled until it becomes brittle, and candied) was 
boiled in a decoction of Barley, and hence 'its name. In The 
Complete Angler (1653) Piscator bids the Hostess of an " honest 
alehouse " give to his brother Peter, and to Venator, " some of 
her best Barley wine, the good liquor that our honest forefathers 
did use to drink of, — the drink which preserved their health, 
and made them live so long, and to do so many good deeds." 

Barley-water for the sick room is a valuable demulcent drink, 
though containing but little nutriment ; it should be made from 
the pure farina of fine Scotch Barley, which is better than Pearl 
Barley for the purpose. Or, take two ounces of Pearl Barley 
washed clean with cold water ; put this into half a pint of boiling 
water, and let it boil for five minutes ; pour off the water, and 
then add to the Barley two quarts of boiling water ; boil it to 
two pints, and strain ; the same is plain, simple Barley-water. 
Figs (shced), raisins (stoned), and liquorice (cut up) are some- 
times added further. 

BEAN. 

The common White Bean {Phaseolus vulgaris), because of its 
seeds bearing a close resemblance to the kidney, and to a sexual 
gland, was worshipped by the Egyptians, who would not partake 
of it as a food. Furthermore, by reason of its marked tendency 
to cause sleepiness, the Jewish High Priest was forbidden to 
eat Beans on the day of Atonement. The black spot which is 
seen on these products was regarded as typical of death. In 
Italy, on November 2nd, All Souls Day, folk eat sweetmeats 

6 



MEALS MEDICINAL. 



wMch are called " Favi dei mortei," or beans of the dead ; this 
custom being a survival of an ancient pagan bean-eating rite. 
Also, a dish of them is left on the table all that night for the 
ghosts of the departed who may then be abroad. " The 
Bean plant," says Dr. Thudicum, " is interesting, and instructive ; 
its leaves droop at night, and expand again by day ; thus there 
is perhaps some connection between the sensitiveness of this 
plant, and the fact that it eUminates a nutriment for brain, and 
muscles." A pithy proverb teaches that " A Bean at liberty 
is better than a comfit in prison ; " whereat the prosaic Lord 
North drily remarked, he shouldn't care to eat a comfit, out of 
prison. 

The Kidney, or French Bean, when cooked with its pod, is 
" haricot vert," and when the seeds alone are served, either 
fresh, or after drying, they are " haricots blancs." The amount 
of vegetable cellulose in the pod makes its digestion tedious, 
so that this is a wasteful form of food. The Scarlet-runner 
{Phaseolus myltiftorus) is allied to the French Bean, and when 
stewed makes Turkish Bean. The broad Windsor Bean is 
Faha vulgaris. Both beans, and peas are more readily digested 
if lemon-juice is added to them in cooking, which presently 
becomes converted into an alkaline salt, and thus assists to 
dissolve the starches. Marrowfat Beans stewed are very 
nutritious, and easily digested. Pick over carefully, and wash 
one quart of these beans, and soak them in water overnight ; in 
the morning drain, add fresh cold water, and bring to the boil ; 
drain again, and turn them into a four-quart stone jar ; put in a 
generous cup of butter, two large tablespoonfuls of Porto Rico 
molasses, two tablespoonfuls of salt, less than a teaspoonful of 
pepper, and fill the jar with boiUng water. Put it in the oven, 
covering the jar with a tin cover ; it must be cooked in a slow 
oven for eight or nine hours. The water should last until the 
beans are perfectly stewed, and when done there will be a good 
gravy left, about one-third of the depth of the beans in the j ar ; 
keep the beans covered for two or three hours whilst cooking ; 
serve, if Uked, with Chih sauce. 

Beans and peas should be steeped in water overnight, or longer, 
and the water then thrown away. One of the best methods of 
cooking them is to stew them for about four hours ; they should 
be next mixed with bread crumbs, and poured into a buttered 
dish for baking in the oven ; the Uquid should be retained, and. 



BEAN. 83 

if properly managed, there will be just sufficient to moisten the 
bread crumbs. The sugar contained in Haricot Beans is phasio- 
mannite, identical with sugar as found in flesh-meat, and in 
brain tissue ; in the presence of salt this develops lactic acid, 
as in sour milk, or meat which has been hung. It is termed 
" inosite," such as abounds regularly in the human brain. Un- 
questionably, therefore, this is a food for the brain, and should be 
conserved in the bean food by preventing its loss in cooking ; for 
which reason green beans should never be boiled, but stewed, so 
as to retain all their immediate principles chemically available. 

Dr. Krost, of Cleveland, U.S., tells about a case which troubled 
him much, of an elderly steamboat Captain, who had greatly 
exceeded with tobacco, mainly in chewing, and had been under 
medical treatment in a sanatorium, for rheumatism, but had lately 
sufEered many a bad quarter of an hour through heart distress. 
Dr. Cushing, of Massachusetts, on being consulted, said, instantly, 
" I will give him a graft of my Phaseolus nanus, and if that doesn't 
help him I am very much mistaken." When Dr. Krost returned 
with the wonderful remedy, it had happened that meanwhile 
the old Captain had been attacked with several smothering 
spells, and was once given up for lost. The Doctor hurried to 
his side with the nostrum, and became astonished to find that 
within a few hours the sick man was able to get about again 
comfortably, declaring that he could now " lie on either side " 
(hke an expert attorney). And what was this Phaseolus nanus ? 
Dr. Cushing had been experimenting as to the medicinal efEects 
of the common white kidney Bean. In his trial with it on 
himself, he had become nearly suffocated, and his heart gave 
him all forms of anxiety. These were the leading symptoms, 
upon the strength of which some pellets prepared from the said 
Bean were administered thus successfully to the Captain. 

A dish of dry Beans, soaked overnight, then boiled, and served 
with hot olive oil poured over them, is the regular main meal of 
many a poor family in Southern Italy. Our English Cottager 
teaches to "' gather your runner Beans whilst they be straight," 
which is an old piece of rustic wisdom, founded on the fact learnt 
by experience, that as the pods become large, and old, they grow 
curly in shape, and tough. Beans, when bruised, and boiled 
with garlic, have been known to cure obstinate coughs which 
had defied other remedies. In Aiam Bede, by George Eliot, 
we read of Alec eating broad Beans with his penknife, and finding 



84 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

in them a flavour that he would not exchange for the finest 
pineapple About Shropshire " blanks and prizes " are beans 
and bacon boiled together, and chopped up in union, being also 
called " blendings." Both peas and beans contain sulphur 
(whilst richer in mineral salts of potash, and Ume than wheat, 
barley, or oats), and are therefore apt to provoke flatulent 
indigestion by the sulphuretted hydrogen gas which is engendered 
within the stomach, and bowels. Cayenne pepper dusted on 
such foods, or taken therewith in infusion as a tea, will stimulate 
a languid digestion, and will correct the flatulency often 
incidental to such a vegetable diet. In Dickens' time costers 
were crying, " Fine Prooshan Blues," as the very best kind of 
peas, all over London, and thus it came about that Sam Weller, 
in Pickmch, addressed his old father, Tony Weller, the stage- 
coachman, as " My Prooshan Blue " in words of endearment. 
Dried, or " parched " peas, as ordinarily supplied, are refractory 
enough, when eaten, to strain the digestive powers of an ostrich ; 
the human stomach has to pass them on into the long-suffering 
intestines to oe negotiated. 

The Soy Bean (Glycina soja) in of three varieties, black, green, 
and white. These Beans are to be boiled, then mixed with 
barley, or wheat, until, through fermentation, they become 
covered with fungi ; then brine is added, and further fermenta- 
tion goes on for a couple of years. The s",uce thus concocted 
is afterwards boiled afresh, and put, when cool, into bottles, 
or casks. From a nutritive point of view it is superior to any 
other sauce in our markets. Soy is made all over Japan, and 
is partaken of by the entire Japanese population, almost with 
every meal. In China, Soy Cheese is extensively eaten, whilst 
various sauces, and pastes are prepared from the Beans. 

" Les Soissonais sont heureux ; 
Les Haricots sont ohez eux." 

An old fable said that Soy was^ made from certain beetles, and 
Londoners have improved this to " black beetles." 

" There was an old person of Troy 
Whose drink was warm brandy, and soy. 
Which he took from a spoon, by the light of the moon 
In sight of the City of Troy." 

Thus sings Edward Lear in his Book of Nonsense (1862), which 
book so delighted Ruskin with its " corollary carols, inimitable 



BEAN, 85 

aad refreshing, and perfect in rhythm," that he admiringly 
declared, " I shall put him first of my hundred authors." 

The common Bean is particularly rich in proteids (hke animal 
food), and contains also much fatty matter, but very little starch ; 
for which reason it makes an admirable substitute for bread in 
diabetes, a flour being prepared from it, and kneaded into loaves, 
or biscuits. 

Lentils (the Lens esculenta), which are a leguminous pulse 
of allied nature with beans, contain but little sulphur, and 
therefore do not provoke flatulence as beans and peas are apt 
to do. The plant {Ervum lens) is cultivated freely in Egypt 
for the sake of its seeds, which grow in numerous pods, and are 
flat on both sides. Three kinds are sold in Great Britain — 
Indian, Egyptian, and German, the two former being red. In 
France this pulse is much eaten during Lent, and is supposed 
by some to give its name to the penitential season, men becoming 
under its subduing dietary influence " Lenti, et lenes." About 
the year 1840 a Mr. Wharton sold the flour of Lentils (under the 
. tf.'/ftitle of Ervalenta), which was then of a primrose coloar. He 
failed in his enterprise, and Mr. Du Barry took up the business 
with success, but substituting the red Arabian Lentil for the 
yellow German pulse. Jacob's mess of pottage which he bartered 
to Esau for his birthright was, it is believed, prepared from the 
red Lentil ; and the same food was the bread of Ezekiel. Phos- 
phates abound in the Lentil, which are restorative, but liable to 
become deposited by the kidneys, together with such other 
earthy salts as are taken in the foods, or water ; therefore 
lemon-juice, or orange-juice, is a desirable addition to Lentils 
at table. When in blossom the plant is a good source of honey 
for bees. To make Lentil soup, take half a pound of uncrusbed 
Lentils, one carrot (chopped), three onions, one leek, two pounds 
of parsnips, an ounce of chopped parsley, pepper, salt, a dessert- 
spoonful of brown sugar, and three large crusts of bread. Wash, 
and pick the Lentils, and soak them all night ; then boil them 
(with a little soda) in a large saucepan for three hours, press them 
through a colander, heat up again, and serve. The soup 
concocted in this way is delicious. Mr. Gibson Ward, writing 
to The Times some years ago, spoke of Lentil soup as 
the best potage possible, the Lentils only needing to be 
washed, soaked, and boiled, furiously for three or four hours ; 
then, if put before the epicure, without remark, this would be 



86 MEALS. MEDICINAL. 

uaten as a fine gravy soup. No condiments are required to 
flavour it. 

Lentils contain of proteid food 25 per cent, with. 56 per cent 
of starch, and 2 per cent respectively of fatty, and mineral 
matters. In common with peas, they are the beef of the 
vegetable kingdom. Peas are richer in potash, and magnesia ; 
Lentils are richer in soda, and iron. As for pease pudding. 
Sir Benjamin Kichardson said, " it took two whole days to cook, 
and two whole weeks to get rid of." But digestive flours of 
both peas, and lentils ale now skilfully manufactured, the latter 
being richer in phosphates. Concerning this leguminous pulse, 
writes Henry Eyecroft (1,90.3) : " I hate with a bitter hatred 
the names of lentils, and haricots, those pretentious cheats of 
the appetite, those tabulated humbugs, those certificated 
crudities, calling themselves human food. An ounce of either 
is equivalent to, we are told, how many pounds (?) of the best 
rump steak. There are not many ounces of commonsense in 
the brain of him who proves it, or of him who believes it. 
Preach, and tabulate as you will, the English palate, which is 
the supreme judge, rejects this farinaceous makeshift. What 
is the intellectual and moral state of that man who really 
believes that chemical analysis can be an equivalent for natural 
gusto ? I will get more nourishment out of an inch of right 
Cambridge sausage, aye, out of a couple of ounces of honest 
tripe, than can be yielded me by half a hundredweight of the 
best lentils ever grown." 

BEEF. 

Thk flesh of the ox has been long reputedly in this country the 
highest form of sustenance, for both the sound, and the sick. 
Its solid parts are composed of albumin, fat, creatin, creatinin, 
inosinic acid, muscular tissue, and various salts. Its chief 
nutriment consists in the albumin, and fibrin, for building up 
the solids of the body. These elements become coagulated into 
insoluble substance by heat, and have therefore to be of necessity 
excluded from liquid extracts of Beef, made to be kept, and taken 
hot. Raw Beef is more readily assimilated when eaten than 
cooked meat, because its albumin has not become hardened by 
heat ; but there is always the risk of its then containing noxious 
parasites which can only be killed by cooking. If Beef, or other 



BEEF. 87 

animal food, is taken in excess of the digestive powers, so as to 
remain within the body unchanged by the gastric juices, it will 
soon undergo putrescence, whereby corrupt products will pass 
into the blood, entailing mischief. Raw Beef sandwiches may 
be given watchfully in cases of great debility, prostration, or 
bloodlessness. Likewise, sandwiches of ox tongue, gently boiled, 
are light, and nutritious. Animal tongues consist of soft meat- 
fibre permeated by fat. " Tongue ? " said Mr. Weller at the 
shooting luncheon (in Pickwick) ; " Well : tongue's a wery 
good thing when it aint a woman's." Reindeer's tongues are 
largely imported into this country from Russia ; they are snow- 
cured, no salt whatever being used, so that the mildness, and 
richness of flavour are preserved. 

With regard to Beef extracts, which are legion in name, and 
number, it is well said that no satisfactory evidence for any 
belief in their having nourishing, and really restorative properties, 
is forthcoming. Two ounces of Liebig's Extract, for instance, 
can be taken at one time by a healthy man without producing 
any other effect than that of shght diarrhcea. And as respects 
the nervous system, equally unsatisfactory evidence must be 
confessed. There is no proof that meat extractives act as 
stimulants to the brain in the same way that tea, and coffee do, 
though it has to be allowed that they are capable of removing 
the effects of muscular fatigue after tiring bodily exertion. " As 
a matter of fact," says Dr. R. Hutchison, " the white of one 
egg will contain as much nutritive matter as three teaspoonfuls 
of any of these advertised preparations, to wit, Liebig's Extract, 
Bovril fluid Beef, Bovril for Invahds, Brand's Essence, Brand's 
Beef Bouillon, Armour's Extract, etc., etc. It is solely on the 
' extractives ' (which are cordials, but of no use as tissue 
constructors), that these several preparations have to depend. 
Such extractives represent only the fragments, as it were, of 
broken-down animal substance." 

Again, in like manner concerning Beef-tea, unless this includes 
a solid sediment of the coagulated albuminous constituents, 
the nutrient value of the liquid will be nil. " A clear Beef-tea 
is a useless Beef-tea ; the only, and whole claim of Beef-tea as 
a food rests on the presence therein of flocculent animal particles 
which represent albumin, and fibrin ; the rest of the hquid 
consists merely of a solution of the extractives." Dr. Fothergill 
has protested that "all the bloodshed caused by the warlike 



88 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

ambition of Napoleon, is as notliing compared to the myriads of 
persons who have sunk into their graves from a misplaced 
confidence in the food-value of Beef-tea ! " Nevertheless, by 
adding to the Beef-tea the exhausted fibrous sohds of the meat, 
care being taken to reduce these to a state of fine division, the 
nutritive qualities of the tea can be materially increased ; so 
that what is termed a " whole Beef-tea " is thus beneficially 
produced. Ordinary Beef-tea, however well made, is only a 
cordial stimulant, and not a sustaining food. It may be mixed 
with chicken-broth (which actually does hold albuminous 
constituents in solution), and will then represent useful sustenance. 

Beef juices, expressed from raw, lean meat, difier from meat 
extracts obtained by heat, in. still containing the proteids (or 
prime solids) of the meat, now uncoagulated ; but (says a high 
authority) none of these juices can be taken in a sufficiently large 
quantity to supply much proteid to the body. Summing up 
the question of the value which extractives of Beef, and of other 
red meats stand entitled to claim, Dr. Hutchison gives it as his 
dictum that " they cannot renew the tissues, or supply the body 
with energy, and therefore are not foods. They pass out of 
the body through the kidneys in the same form in which they 
entered it ; they do not act as restorative stimulants to the 
heart, though they may possibly help to remove fatigue ; and 
yet they are powerful aids to digestion by calhng out a free flow 
of gastric juice from within the stomach, whilst their pleasant 
flavour serves to arouse the appetite. The only means of getting 
the full value of Beef in small bulk is by the use of the dried 
meat powders." A solution of the white of egg flavoured with 
sound meat-extract forms a cheap and efficient substitute for the 
juices of raw, lean Beef. 

In South Africa, Beef is prepared to make what is known there 
as " biltong," which, with bread and butter, is very appetizing 
for invaHds, and most nourishing. The Beef, when cut out in 
a long, tongue-shaped strip from the hind leg of an ox (from 
the thigh-bone to the knee-joint), is then rubbed with some 
salt, some brown sugar, and an ounce of saltpetre. This 
rubbing, and then turning, is continued daily for three days, 
after which time the meat is put under a press for a night ; it is 
next dried in the wind, and then hung in the chimney until still 
drier, and pretty firm. When eaten it is to be cut into very 
thin slices, or rasped. Persons sufiering from sea-sickness on 



BEEF. 89 

board ship have reUshed this " biltong " when no other delicacy- 
would tempt them to eat. It is quite as readily assimilated 
as fresh meat, being generally taken uncooked. 

Prime Beef, when freshly roasted, or broiled, may be almost 
compared to alcohol in its stimulating effects at first ; indeed, 
De Quincey has told of a " medical student in London, for whose 
knowledge in his profession he (Quincey) had reason to feel 
great respect, who assured him that a patient in recovering from 
an illness had got drunk on a Beef-steak." And quite recently 
the Lancet, borrowing this idea so as to apply it further, has 
declared : " One can truly state that there are hundreds, and 
hundreds of men and women in our midst who are daily stupefying 
themselves with Beef, heavy, and in excess, thereby deadening 
their brains, paralysing their bodies, and ruining their health ; 
young people need more of such food than those who are fully 
grown, but it is the adults who do all the gormandizing ! " 

None the less, though, are we justified in boasting triumphantly 
of the " Koast Beef of Old England " as pre-eminently our great 
national dish ; and in repeating right loyally the spirited 
invocation of Charles Morris (Laureate, in 1785), to the " Old 
Beef-steak Club " .— 

" May beef long bless our favoured coast. 

Where no despotic ruffian 
Has dared a brazen buU to roast. 

With men inside for stuffing ! 
Where never Jove, a tyrant god, 

Who loves fair maids to purloin, 
As a white buU the billows rode 

With madam on his sirloin. 
Like Britain's Island lies our steak, 

— ^A sea of gravy round it. — 
Shalots, in fragrance scattered, make 

The rock- work which surrounds it : 
Our Isle's best emblem here behold, 

Remember ancient story ; 
Be, like your graudsires, just and bold ; 

So live and die in glory." 

The first Beef-steak Club was re-organised in the winter of 1749, 
at the instance of Dr. Samuel Johnson, and met weekly at a 
famous Beef-steak house in Ivy Lane. This Club had been first 
formed in 1735 by Rich, the famous Harlequin; it continued to 
held its meetings in rooms behind the stage of the Lyceum Theatre, 
in London, up to 1867, when, as the roll of members had become 
reduced to eighteen, its doors were closed for ever. In 1869 its 



90 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

effects were sold at Christie's Auction rooms. Originally George 
Lambert, tlie Scene Painter of Covent Garden Theatre, had his 
beef-steak broiled there over the fire in the painting room, and 
was sometimes joined by visitors, whose conviviality from the 
savoury dish led them to form the Club. In 1808, when the Covent 
Garden Theatre was burnt down, the Club moved its quarters, 
first to the Bedford Coffee House, and then back to the Lyceum 
stage, where it met on Saturday nights in the famous oak- 
panelled room, and had steaks from the great gridiron ; over 
this were inscribed Shakespeare's words : " If it were done, 
when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly." 
In the Art of Cookery (1708) we read : — 



" Good beef for men ; pudding for youth and age, 
Come up to the decorum of the stage." 



Also : — 



" A cauldron of Pat Beef, and stoupe of ale 
On the huzzaing mob shall more prevail 
Than if you gave them, with the nicest art. 
Ragouts of peacock's brains, or filber'd tart." 

Beef and rump-steak are intimately associated with the history 
of the food discipline of pugilists. The famous trainer. Sir 
Thomas Parkyas, of Bunny Park, greatly preferred Beef-eaters 
to what he termed sheep-eaters, who ate mutton. On the other 
hand, Humphries, the pugilist, was trained by Ripshaw at 
first upon Beef, but made thereupon so much flesh that the Beef 
was changed for mutton, roast, or boiled. 

The action of air upon Beef, as upon all meat which has not 
been cooked, or frozen, is the same as that which it exercises 
in the living body, — oxygen is absorbed, and carbonic acid is 
exhaled. Concurrently, a certain amount of lactic acid forms 
in the meat, which, during the subsequent cooking, dissolves, 
or softens the fibrinous parts. The flesh of an animal which 
has died otherwise than by being slaughtered lor food, may never 
be safely cooked, and eaten ; it was a sanitary ordinance enjoined 
from the time of the Levitical law by Moses to the Israelites, " Ye 
shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself " ; though he pro- 
ceeded to say (in meanness of spirit which was strange for so 
wise a patriarch), " Thou shaft give it unto the stranger that is 
within thy gates that he may eat it : or thou mayest sell it unto 
an alien." 

Raw Beef, by some special virtue which it possesses, is a 



BEER. 91 

highly useful application to a recent bruise. " Eye damaged, 
Sir ? " asked Jingle (at the " Golden Cross " Hotel, travellers' 
room). " Here, Waiter : a raw Beef-steak for the gentleman's 
eye. Nothing like raw Beef-steak for a bruise, Sir. Cold 
lamp-post very good, but lamp-post inconvenient. Deuced 
odd standing in the open street half-an-hour with your eye 
against a lamp-post, eh ? Very good ! ha ! ha ! " 

In the Cheetham School (of the thirteenth century) at 
Manchester, within the Wardens' Room, is a sideboard of 
beautifully carved oak; it is made from the top of a bookcase, and 
from the lower part of a bedstead in which the young Pretender 
slept. The lad who takes a visitor round shows with special 
delight the carving of " the cock that crows when it smdls roast 
Beef," opposite to which is a PeUcan ; tempore, Charles the 
Second. 

BEER. 

{See also Ale and Malt). 

Beee, which is practically Ale when brewed together with hops, 
is not a good beverage for persons of sedentary habits ; unless 
taken quite moderately by such, it burdens the liver with 
products of starch ferment, and causes dyspeptic sluggishness. 
If Beer gives rise to acidity in the stomach, this may perhaps 
be the result of an acid fermentation in the liquor itself, especially 
if it has not been kept long in the cask. German Beers are 
fermented at a lower temperature than those made in this 
country, and contain more starch converted into dextrin ; there- 
fore a secondary fermentation takes place in them to a consider- 
able extent when drunk, and produces much carbonic acid gas. 
The peculiar flavour of Bavarian Beers is attributed to pitch in 
the wood of the barrels. Lager Beer (or Stock Beer) is a hght 
German Beer, so called because stocked for ripening before 
being used. It has been said to owe its soporific efEects in some 
cases to the leeks used in its manufacture, which vegetable makes 
persons who partake thereof sleepy. But the Lancet teaches 
that the well-known flavour of garlic in Lager Beer is rather 
due to the low temperature at which this beverage is brewed. 

In the New England States, unfermented " Root-Beer " is 
made for the women, and children, this being somewhat similar 
in character to the well-known " Kop's Ale " of the British Isles, 



92 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Sir Horace Walpole, writing from Newmarket, October, 1743, to 
Sir Horace Mann, just after his return from Italy, says " What a 
Paradise (after the bare, wide barns of Italian inns) did I think the 
hostelry at Dover when I got back ; and what magnificence were 
the twopenny prints, salt-cellars, and boxes to hold the knives ! 
but the summum-honum was the Small Beer, and the newspaper ! 
I bless'd my stars, and call'd it luxury ! " It was Dick Swiveller 
who assured the small " Marchioness " slavey, (when she told 
him confidentially that she " once had a sip of Beer,") with much 
solemnity, that " Beer cannot be tasted in a sip." In Pickwick 
we read about " dog's nose " (formerly a mixed drink of spiced 
malt liquor) " which your Committee (of the Brick Lane 
Temperance Association) find to be compounded of warm porter, 
moist sugar, gin, and nutmeg (a groan : and 'So it is ! ' from 
an elderly female)." 

Again, " Ale flip " is warmed Ale, or Beer, to which sugar, 
cognac, or rum, and ginger, with nutmeg, have been added ; 
this is then beaten up with some stirred, or frothed eggs (half 
the whites being left out), and is well mixed. The drink is 
known in some parts as " A yard of flannel." Pepys {Diary, 
January 4th, 1666) says : " Comes our company to dinner, 
served so nobly in plate, and a neat dinner, indeed, though but 
of seven dishes. At night to sup, and then to cards ; and, last 
of all, to have a flaggon of Ale, and apples, drunk out of a wood 
eup, as a Christmas draught, which made all merry." Mulled 
Ale, and fettled Porter were favourite drinks up to the middle 
of last century for nourishing the exhausted invaUd, and for 
stuffing a catarrh in its second stage. The mulled Ale was made 
by warming the hquor, sweetening it, and mixing in beaten-up 
eggs, and spice, particularly nutmeg. In " fettled " Porter the 
eggs were left out, and lemon was added. The fettler was a 
copper utensil, hke an inverted cone, for putting on the fire to 
heat the drink ; elsewhere this is known as a hooter (heater ?), a 
" skillet " (with legs), a Mother Red Cup, and a spigot. The object 
was to make the ingredients hot quickly, so that all the spirit of 
the Beer should not be evaporated. We read in recent Enghsh 
history that a couple of centuries ago " the country Squires 
brewed at home a specially strong ale which, after a mid-day 
dinner, stood on the table in decanters marked with the oat-plant, 
and was then drunk in heu of wine." " Ale-posset " is a more 
modern hot cordial preparation, made with milk (half-a-pint), 



BEER. 93 

a yolk of egg, half an ounce of butter, and half a pint of ale. 
The milk is poured hot over a slice of toast ; the egg and butter 
are then added, and are allowed to bind, and the ale is mixed 
therewith whilst boiling ; also sugar according to taste. For 
sea-sickness, if the stomach feels empty, and, still more, if dry 
retching occurs, bottled porter will do good, and biscuit spread 
with some butter on which Cayenne pepper is dusted. Also, for 
the sickness of pregnancy Hop tea is helpful, or a small glass of 
sound bitter ale two or three times in the day. 

Spruce Beer, or Beer of the Norway Spruce fir, or " Sprouts 

Beer," is an agreeable, and wholesome beverage, very useful 

against scurvy, and for chronic rheumatism. It is made with 

the young sprouts of the black Spruce fir (i.e., the leaves, and 

yoimg branches), or with an essence of Spruce, boiled with sugar, 

or molasses, and fermented with yeast. There are two sorts 

of this Beer, the brown and the white, of which the latter is 

preferred by many as being made with white sugar instead of 

the dark molasses. It may be noted that the term " spruce," 

or " pruce," was formerly used in connection with fashionable 

wearing apparel, and applied allusively as to a land of cockayne, 

or of luxury. " He shall live in the land of spruce, milke, and 

honey, flowing into his mouth, sleeping." " Essence of Spruce " 

is made by boiling the green tops of the black Spruce fir in water, 

and then concentrating the decoction by further boiUng without 

the tops. The young shoots are seen to be coated with a resinous 

exudation, which becomes incorporated with the boihng water. 

Spruce Beer may be brewed at home, by boiUng black treacle 

with water, spices, and essence of Spruce, and letting this ferment, 

with, or without yeast, and then boihng it again. The said 

essence of Spruce is a thick hquid with a bitterish, acidulous, 

astringent taste, to be got from the Norway Spruce fir, the black 

Spruce, and perhaps other species. Fennimore Cooper has told 

about the Beer therefrom in his novel, beloved of adventurous 

school-boys. The Last of the Mohicans : " ' Come, friend,' said 

Hawkeye, drawing out a keg from beneath a cover of leaves, 

' try a Uttle spruce : 'twill quicken the hfe in your bosom.' " 

The resinous products of certain pines are of great value, 
and subserve important medicinal uses, as pitch, tar, turpentine, 
resin, etc., chiefly obtained from the Pinus folustris. Also 
from these resinous exudations there is procured pine oil, as 
employed in making varnishes, and colours. Again, from the 



94 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Pinus sylvestris a fixed oil is extracted ohemically by distillation, 
wMcli oleo-resin consists of a resinous base, and a volatile 
essential oil. If the " tears," or resin drops, which trickle out 
on the stems of pines be taken, five or six of them during the day, 
they will benefit chronic bronchitis, and will abate the cough of 
consumption. Also eight or ten drops of the pine oil given in 
a little milk three or four times a day will relieve chronic rheuma- 
tism. Wool saturated with some of this oil, and then dried, 
is made into blankets, jackets, spencers, and socks, for the use 
of rheumatic sufferers. 

Tar {Pi'x liquida) is extracted by heat from the Scotch fir ; 
it has been long employed by doctors both externally, and 
internally. Tar-water was extolled in 1747 by Bishop Berkeley 
{Siris) almost as a panacea ; he gave it for scurvy, skin diseases, 
sores, asthma, and rheumatism. It promotes several of the 
bodily secretions, particularly the urine. Tar yields pyro- 
ligneous acid, oil of tar, and pitch, also guaiacol, and creosote. 
Syrup of tar is an officinal medicine in U.S. America, for 
chronic bronchitis, and winter cough. Tar ointment is 
highly efficacious for curing some skin eruptions ; but in eczema 
no preparation of tar should be applied as long as the skin weeps, 
and is actively inflamed. Dr. Cullen met with a singular practice 
carried out regarding tar : A leg of mutton was put to roast, 
being basted during the whole process with tar instead of butter ; 
whilst it roasted a sharp skewer was frequently thrust into the 
substance of the meat to let the juices run out, and with the 
mixture of tar and gravy found in the dripping-pan the body 
of the patient was anointed all over for three or four consecutive 
nights, the same body-hnen being worn throughout all this time. 
The plan proved quite successful in curing obstinate lepra. The 
Swedes call the fir " the scorbutick tree " to this day. Tar-water 
is to be made by stirring a pint of tar with half a gallon of water 
for fifteen minutes, and then decanting it ; from half a pint to a 
pint of this may be taken daily. Tar ointment is prepared with 
five parts of tar to two pounds of yellow wax. Said Mrs. Joe 
Gargery, in Great Expectations (C. Dickens), to her boy brother 
Pip, whom she had brought up by hand (and a hard one, too !), 
" You come along, and be dosed." " Some medical beast had 
revived tar-water in those days as a fine medicine, and Mrs. Joe 
always kept a supply of it in the cupboard, having a belief in 
its virtues correspondent to its nastiness. At the best of times 



BEER. 95 

SO mucli of this elixir was administeced to me (says Pip in after 
life) as a choice restorative, that I was conscious of going about 
smelling like a new fence. On this particular morning the 
urgency of my case demanded a pint of the mixture, which was 
poured down my throat for my greater comfort while Mrs. Joe 
held my head under her arm, as a boot would be held in a boot- 
jack. Joe (her meek, big husband) got ofE with half a pint, 
but was made to swallow that (much to his disturbance as he 
sat slowly munching, and meditating before the fire) because he 
had ' had a turn.' Judging from myself, thought poor little 
Pip, I should say he certainly had a turn afterwards if he had 
had none before." Edward Fitzgerald, writing to John Allen 
from Boulogne (July, 1840), said : " I have just concocted two 
gallons of tar-water under the directions of Bishop Berkeley ; 
it is to be bottled off this very day, after a careful skimming, 
and then drank by those who can, and will. It is to be tried 
first on my old woman ; if she survives, I am to begin, and it 
will then gradually spread into the parish, through England, 
Europe, etc., as the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake." 
Against the foot-rot of sheep, tar is most efficacious, as the trite 
saying tells, " Not to lose a sheep for want of a ha'porth of tar." 
In chronic disease of the kidneys the removal of a patient for 
a residence among, or near pine woods will often prove beneficial, 
by reason of the terebinthinate atmosphere constantly respired. 
A diet consisting mainly of skim milk, butter milk, and whey, 
will give material assistance to this cure by saving the kidneys 
from hard excretory work. 

Porter was so called either because it was a favourite drink 
with the London porters, or in allusion to its strength, and 
substance for giving bodily support. It is made either partially, 
or wholly of high-dried malt, which . by its solution therein 
materially aids the conversion into fattening dextrin, and sugar, 
of starchy foods taken at the same time, as, for example, bread 
and cheese. An excess of this malt leads to large unwieldy 
bodily bulk, such as that seen commonly in brewers' dray- 
men. Stout is strong Ale, or Beer of any sort; hence, 
since the introduction of Porter, when of extra strength the 
brew was termed Stout, such as DubUn Stout, etc. Bottled 
Stout is an admirable soporific. " If it be desired to avoid 
nervous disquietude, and to banish insomnia, shun tea, or cofiee, 
and drink Guinness' Stout. I scarcely ever met with a man 



96 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

who could resist the soporific efEects of bottled Stout : they are far 
better than those of opium, and have been ascribed to the hop 
resin." Temperance advocates largely patronize the drink which 
is now widely known as Kop's Ale, about the freedom of which 
from alcohol doubts are often expressed. But just lately this 
beverage has been carefully, and authoritatively tested, with 
the result that only -25 per cent of alcohol revealed itself, — an 
inappreciable quantity, less indeed than is contained in an 
ordinary loaf of bread. The beverage is bright, clear, well 
aerated, and of excellent flavour, tasting precisely the same as any 
light bitter ale which contains alcohol, and keeping for some con- 
siderable time without its alcohol increasing by further fermen- 
tation, or the quality, and potability deteriorating. It may be 
thoroughly commended for all who desire a palatable, refresh- 
ing, and safe summer drink. 

Thackeray said about a character in The Newcomes, " She 
thinks small beer of painters ! Well ! we don't think small 
beer of ourselves, my noble friend ! " 

BEET ROOT. 

The Beet of our kitchen gardens is of the G-oosefoot tribe, and 
derived from the Sea Beet, which grows plentifully about English 
coasts. Its name originated through a fancied resemblance 
borne by its seed vessels, when swollen with seed, to the Greek 
letter B. Therefore, 

" The Greeks gave its name to the Beet from their alphabet's second letter' 
As an Attic teacher would -write the same on wax with a sharp stiletto.', 

The Mangel Wurzel, also a variety of Beet, means hterally, 
" Scarcity root." 

Occasionally the leaves of the Sea Beet (which is slender- 
rooted) are cooked as " greens " for the table. Beet root 
contains a large amount of cane sugar, especially in the 
large white " Sugar beet," from the roots of which plant Beet-root 
sugar is extensively manufactured in France, Germany, and 
some other countries. The ordinary red garden Beet root 
contains nearly as much sugar as the Sugar beet ; but in the 
process of cooldng for table, a considerable quantity of this 
soluble sugar is lost, so that the garden Beet when boiled does 
not contain more sugar than three per cent ; but its root is 



BEET ROOT. 97 



richer in cellulose than, most other tubers. An addition of 
vinegar to sUces of red Beet root softens the fibrous tissue, and 
increases its digestibility ; but it does not interfere with the cane 
sugar which is abundantly present. To persons of a certain age 
Beet root boiled is very indigestible, or rather they do not digest 
it at all. It is not the sugar pulp which thus proves a difficulty, 
but the porous network which resists the action of the gastric 
juice. Therefore, when the root is reduced to a puree, almost 
any person may eat it, though in the process of cooking much 
of the sugar is sacrificed. 

This root is helpful against some derangements of the womb's 
functions ; whilst the white Beet is laxative, and will stimulate 
an increased flow of urine. Though Beet-root sugar, and cane 
sugar, are chemically identical when pure (which they never are), 
yet commercially, and for cuhnary flavour, they difier in two 
important respects. First, the Beet sugar contains more 
extractives in the form of alkaline carbonates, many of these 
having a powerful, and characteristic taste which cannot be dis- 
pelled ; and therefore it is that an infusion of tea, when sweetened 
with beet sugar containing such alkaUne carbonates, is not in 
character, and flavour the same beverage as that made with a 
sugar free from this admixture. A like efieot is found in coffee, 
and in several other sweetened drinks. Next, Beet-root molasses 
contains more extractives than cane molasses, and its ash gives 
more of the oxides of soda and potash ; so that cane sugar is 
on the whole a superior article to Beet-root sugar. 

The Beet is characterized by a large percentage of sugar, 
mucilage, starch, and alkaUne salts, especially of soda. A 
pleasant wine may be made from the roots ; and the juice thereof 
when applied to the skin of the face is an excellent cosmetic. 
Sometimes the root bears the name of Betterave. Baked beets 
are capital for the table. A Russian dinner generally begins 
with Bortch, which is the national soup, and the Russian is as 
proud of it as is the Englishman of roast beef. This is of a deep 
red colour, being made from Beet root, but having a "stock of 
treasures hidden in its depths ; onions, perhaps, are swimming on 
the top, and beneath the surface tomatoes are not improbably 
concealed, with — at the bottom — a chop, succulent as a young 
chicken ; while as an additional zest the waiter brings a tureen 
which contains sour cream, to be eaten with the soup." It is 
quite possible to make a whole meal of "bortch" soup, with 

7 



98 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

vegetables, and meat in it ; or this is therefore much liked as a 
first course at dinner on a Saint's day, after a rigorous fast. For 
Bortch soup " Bake four beets ; peel, slice, and put into good 
stock ; boil for half an hour. Eub down three raw beets with 
about one tablespoonful of vinegar, and a little water ; pass all 
through a sieve ; when ready to serve add one glass of Madeira 
wine, with cayenne, and salt to taste." 

BILBESBY, 

{See Whortlbbeeey). 

BIRDS, SMALL. 

Such of our small fowl as the Blackbird, Jjark, Robin, Snipe, 
Sparrow, Thrush, and Woodcock, whilst good for the table, 
exercise severally certain medicinal effects which are available 
for curative uses. The Blackbird (Menda nigretta) is said to 
increase melancholy if its flesh be eaten at all freely. Against 
depression of the spirits it was prescribed for occasional use by 
the Salernitan school of physicians. Cardinal Fesch at Lyons 
had blackbirds sent from Corsica, and used to say that to eat 
them was like swallowing Paradise : also, that the smell alone 
of his blackbirds was enough to revivify half the defunct in his 
diocese. As a great devourer of snails, this bird possesses 
properties beneficial for consumptive persons. The Lark is so 
adored by English folk for its sweet song, trilled forth as it 
soars high in the blue heavens, that to talk of eating this 
melodious bird seems at first a sacrilege. But in the soutli 
of Europe larks are such a nuisance at certain times that 
they have to be killed in numbers, so as to reduce the damage 
which they inflict on agriculture. Some persons have alleged 
that it is not the skylark which is served for eating — particularly 
in France — when on spits, or stuffed with foie qras, since the word 
alnuette (a skylark) never appears on a French menu. So far as 
Paris is concerned, these little birds, which are offered by thousands 
in the markets, being almost always displayed for sale on wooden 
skewers, and already plucked, are commonly called mauviettes 
by both vendors, and buyers. But in the French language the 
lark remains an alouette until it is plucked, trussed, and ready 
to be spitted, when it becomes a maurdette. Moreover, in La 
Cuisiniere Bourgeoise, or general French Cookery Book, recipes 



BIRDS, SMALL. 99 



are given for cHouettes, rdties, or en salmis, or aux fines herbes. 
" The flesh," said former physicians, " helps the cholick, and 
is good against the falling sickness ; larks breed thrice in the 
year, and are themselves much troubled with the epilepsie." 
" The lark," tells old Fuller, " is wholesome when dead, then 
fiUing the stomack with meat as formerly the ear with musick. 
If men would imitate the early rising of this bird it would conduce 
much unto their healthfulness." The great Dr. Johnson often 
spoke roughly to Mrs. Thrale, and others. One day when she 
was lamenting the loss of a first cousin killed in America, he said, 
" Madam, it would give you very little concern if all your 
relations were spitted hke these larks (which they were then 
eating) and roasted for Presto's supper " (the lapdog, who lay 
under the table at the time). 

For broiled larks, pick, and clean a dozen larks, cut of! their 
heads and legs, truss them firmly, rub them over with beaten 
egg, and strew bread-crumbs about them, with a pinch of 
salt ; broil them over a clear fire, and serve them on toasted 
bread. 

Again, with respect to the Eobin Redbreast, we do our best 
in this country to protect him from harm, and to regard him 
with an esteem which is well-nigh religious. But abroad the 
brave, homely little bird fails to meet with any such appreciation. 
La rouge gorge est la triste preuve de cette.veritd ; que le gourmand 
est far essence un Ure inhumain, et cruel. Car il rHa aucune 
■pitie de le charmant petit oiseau de passage que sa gentilesse, et sa 
familiarity eonfiante devraient mettre u Vahri de nos atteintes : mais 
s'il fallait avoir compassion de tout le monde on ne manger ait 
personne; et, commiseration a part, il faut convenir que le rouge 
gorge, qui tient un rang distingui dans la classe de bees figues, est 
un rati tris succulent. Cet aimable oiseau se manga a la broche, 
et en salmi. It is remarkable for a delicate bitter flavour. In 
Lousiana, likewise, no scruples are known about eating the 
Robin ; after he has gorged on holly-berries, and become half- 
tipsy on those of the China tree, which grows there around the 
dwelling-houses, he is easily shot from the " galleries " (as the 
verandahs are called), and then he is broiled like a quail, or put 
into a savoury pie. A French Abbe writes aboat the Rouge 
Gorge as " presque meprisde dans toutes les contries qu'elle hahitd " ; 
even its popular name " La Gadille " adds to the ridicule attached 
to its sad existence. 



100 



MEALS MEDICINAL. 



•• Who killed Cook Robin ? " 
" I," said the Sparrow, " with my 
bow and arrow, 
I killed Cook Robin." 

" Who saw him die ? " 
" I," said the Fly, " with my little 
eye, 
I saw him die." 

" Who caught his blood ? " 
" I," said the Fish, "with my little 
dish, 
J caught his blood." 



" Qui a tu6 Rouge-Gorge? " 
' Moi, dit le Moineau, "aveo mon 
arc, et ma flfiche, 
J'ai tu6 Rouge-Gorge." 

" Qui I'a vu mourir? " 
' Moi," dit la Mouche, " avec mon 
petit oeil, 
Je I'ai vu mourir." 

" Qui a recueilli son sang ? " 
'Moi," dit le Poisson, aveo mon 
petit plat, 
J'ai reoueilli son sang." 



It is a bird most easily snared, and has been eaten by scores, 
thougli a noted Englisbman declared in Italy tbat lie would as 
soon devour a baby as a Robin. Being a brave, fearless, and 
highly sociable little creature, it may possibly confer this same 
estimable character when eaten habitually, even though under 
protest. 

The Snipe (Scolofax gallinago), and the Woodcock (Scolopax 
rustica), hve chiefly by suction, and therefore contain within 
themselves, when killed, nothing corruptible ; so that they may 
be eaten, trail and all, their flavour being delicate, whilst rich. 
{See " Game.") An old French quatrain runs thus : — 

" Le becasseau est de fort bon manger, 
Duquel la chair resueille I'appetet : 
II est oyseau paasager, et petit, 
Et par sou goust fait des vins bien juger." 

The Starling is " one of the worst birds to be eaten that is, 
for she will eat bitter ; but, only keep them ahve, one of the 
best birds that is to talk, or whistle." There are the Field 
Starling, and the House Starling (which breeds in churches, and 
houses). 

The Thrush (Turdus musicus) has a flesh excellent for the 
invahd. Horace, the Latin Poet, formerly declared " Nil melius 
turdo " ; and, later on, in the London Pharmacoposia, it is said : 
" The Thrush is of good nourishment, hotter in its flesh than the 
Blackbird, and preferred by many. Roasted with myrtle 
berries it helps the dysentery, and other fluxes of the belly." 
Thrushes are best for eating towards the end of November, 
because their meat is then aromatic through the juniper berries 
on which these birds have been feeding. Moreover, the Missel 
Thrush afiords anti-epileptic food, because of living chiefly on 
mistletoe berries, which are of singular virtue against the falling 



BISCUITS. 101 



sickness ; it also eats ivy berries ; but the Song Thrush devours 
insects for the most part, being thus carnivorous. " Sofd 
comme une grive " is a well-known French proverb, " Drunk as 
a Thrush," because the greedy, fat birds fill their crops with ripe 
juniper berries until they are too lazy to fly. 

As related in the British Medical Journal (1880), " No less 
exalted a personage than the Princess Bismarck lately reported 
the Magpie, by its flesh dried, and powdered, to be an infallible 
cure for epilepsy, insomuch that Her Highness issued a circular 
to the members of the Eckenfoerd Shooting Association desiring 
them to furnish before a certain day as many Magpies as possible, 
from the burnt remains of which an anti- epileptic powder might 
be manufactured." In the London Pharmacoposia (1696) it 
was stated : " The flesh eaten helps dimness of sight, vertigo, 
epilepsies, melancholy, and madness." 

BISCUITS. 

As is commonly known, Biscuits are multiform, and of various 
manufacture. Their general name signifies " twice baked " 
(bis cuits, or cocti), whilst they consist chiefly of flour, with water, 
or milk, and salt, or sugar, being baked in thin, flat cakes. When 
simply made, and newly baked, they are Ught, and easy of 
digestion, afiording animal warmth, and fat, rather than structural 
support. " I am fearfully hot, and thirsty," said AUce (Through 
the Looking-glass), after running with the Red Queen so exceed- 
ingly fast that she found herself sitting on the ground breathless, 
and giddy. " I know what you'd like," said the Queen good- 
naturedly, taking a little box out of her pocket ; " have a 
Biscuit ! " So AUce took one, and ate it as well as she could, 
but it was very dry, and she thought she had never been so nearly 
choked in all her life. " Have another Biscuit," said the Queen, 
presently. " No, thank you," said Alice, " one's quite enough." 
In France, and Germany our Sponge Cake, or Savoy Cake, is 
known as Biscuit. The word Biscuit {bis cuit, twice baked) 
implied the process by which this form of food was made down 
to within the nineteenth century. 

Baking powders, now much in vogue, are essentially com- 
posed of bicarbonate of potash, and cream of tartar (bitartrate 
of potash) in a proportion to neutraHze one -another ; the com- 
bination forms tartrate of potash and soda, (Rochelle salt, mildly 



102 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

purgative). Two teaspoonfuls of such, a baking powder mixed 
in a quart of flour, represent forty-five more grains of the Eochelle 
salt than are contained in an ordinary Seidlitz powder. Alum 
instead of cream of tartar is quite objectionable : it would form 
sulphate of soda, and would make the phosphates of the flour 
insoluble. 

In the early part of the nineteenth century, when Dr. 
Abernethy, a physician famous for his successful treatment of 
indigestion, lived in Bloomsbury Square, London, a baker named 
Hill carried on his business in Southampton Eow, which street 
runs out of that Square. It was customary for the Doctor to 
pay this baker a morning call for a Captain's Biscuit. On one 
of such visits the Doctor said, " Hill, I think the biscuits would 
be better with some sugar in them." Hill followed the Doctor's 
suggestion ; and, when he came again the Doctor, on tasting 
them, said, " They are all right so far, but put a few caraway 
seeds in the next batch, so as to break the wind on the stomach ; 
and I will recommend them." Such is the history of the 
Abernethy Biscuit as received sixty years ago from S. Haddon, 
a baker who lived at the corner of William and Munster Streets, 
Regent's Park, and who had previously worked for Hill. Here 
is the original mixture used by Hill : " Seven pounds of winter 
wheat jSour, eight ounces of granulated sugar, eight ounces of 
butter, and a few Caraway seeds. Mix, or rub the butter well 
into the flour, making a bay in the centre ; add the sugar, and 
seeds, mixing all well together ; then break until the dough is 
clear, and smooth. After having done this, about ten Biscuits 
to the pound may be cut, moulded, and pinned on a crimping 
board, then baked in a sound oven, and, when taken out, put 
in the drying oven for four, or more hours." These were genuine ; 
but the Abernethy Biscuits now usually sold as such are spurious, 
and somewhat similar to the unleavened bread told about in the 
Bible, to prepare which the children of Israel baked their broken 
grain after soaking it in water, not using any substance for 
making the bread light, or raised. Mr. Solomon Pell, the 
confidential adviser of Tony Weller, and Sam, about family 
matters, was found at the Insolvent Court regaling himself, 
as business was slack, on an Abernethy Biscuit, and a saveloy. 

When Lord Roberts first went out to South Africa he 
took with him a good supply of Bath Oliver Biscuits (excel- 
lent against indigestion) ; and he sent for another supply 



BLACKBERRY. 103 



by Lady Roberts when she rejoined him. This Biscuit 
owed its name to Dr. Ohver, a famous physician of Bath, the 
friend of Pope, Warburton, and other eighteenth century 
notabilities. When on his deathbed (1749) the doctor called 
for his coachman, and gave him the recipe for such Biscuits, 
also ten sacks of flour, and a hundred sovereigns. The fortunate 
fellow started a shop, whereat the Biscuits were made, and sold, 
in G-reen Street, Bath ; and there they are still made, and sold 
to the present day. To manufacture these Biscuits : Put two 
ounces of fresh butter into a saucepan, with a quarter of a pint 
of milk, and stir over a gentle fire until the butter is melted ; 
add a pinch of salt, and a dessertspoonful of yeast ; then mix- 
in very smoothly three-quarters of a pound of fine flour ; knead 
the mixture well, wrap it in a warmed cloth, put it into a bowl. 
and place it on a warm hearth for a quarter of an hour. Roll it 
out eight or nine times, leaving it at last a quarter-of-an-inch 
thick. Stamp it into Biscuits with an ordinary cutter ; prick 
them well with a fork, and bake them upon tins in a moderate 
oven until the Biscuits are lightly browned, say, for about 
half-an-hour. 

For Macaroon Biscuits, see " Almonds." A Bavarian recipe 
orders, to blanch, and chop fine half a pound of sweet almonds ; 
then beat the whites of three eggs to a stifi froth ; add half a 
pound of white sugar, and next the chopped nuts. Drop the 
macaroons from a small spoon on to paraffin paper, upon a 
baking sheet, and bake a delicate brown in a moderately hot oven. 

BLACKBERRY. 

The Bramble, or Blackberry Shrub (Ruhus fruticosus), which 
grows in almost every English hedgerow, is familiar to us all. 
Its popular fruit, ripe in the late summer, furnishes citric, and 
malic acids, pectin, and albumin. In 1696 doctors declared 
the ripe berries of the bramble to be a great cordial, and to 
contain a notable restorative spirit. With the ancient Greeks 
Blackberries were a common remedy for gout. Blackberry 
jam, and Blackberry wine are taken nowadays for sore throat in 
many a rustic English home, whilst Blackberry jelly is esteemed 
useful against a feeble circulation, and dropsy therefrom. This 
fruit goes, in some Scotch districts, by the name of " bumble- 
kites," from " bumble," the cry of the bittern, and " kyte," 



104 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



a Scotch word for belly ; " the title bumble-kite being applied," 
says Dr. Prior, " from the rumbHng, and bumbling caused in 
the bellies of children who eat the fruit too greedily." 

But the Blackberry has also acquired the name of Scaldberry, 
from producing, as some say, the eruption known as scald-head 
in children who eat the fruit to excess ; or, as others suppose, 
from the curative efEects of the berries in this malady of the 
scalp ; or, again, from the remedial good produced by applying 
the leaves externally to scalds. The French name for Black- 
berries is M'&res sauvages, or Milres de haie. Tom Hood, in his 
comic way, has described a negro funeral as " going a black- 
burying." The fruit, if gathered whilst nicely ripe (before Old 
Michaelmas Day, October 11th, when the devil is supposed to 
spit on them), and dried in a slow oven, being then reduced to 
powder, will prove efficacious by their tannin for curing dysentery, 
or continued diarrhoea, more so than astringent drugs. This 
powder must be kept dry in a well-corked bottle. 

" Where ? " asks Laura Matildas Dirge, in the Rejected 
Addresses of Horace and James Smith (1812) .• — 

" Where is Cupid's crimson motion, 
Billowy ecstasy of woe ? 
Bear me straight, meandering ocean 
Where the stagnant waters flow." 

" Oh, nbi purpurei motus puer alitis 1 0, qui 
Me mihi turbineis surrepis, angor, aquis ? 
Due labyrintheum, due me mare tramite recto 
Quo rapidi fontes, pigra, caterve ruunt." 

Austraha produces the Blackberry bush more luxuriantly 
than any other part of the world : indeed, it is well nigh a pest 
in some parts, though the fruit which grows thereon is of the 
most luscious nature. Round about Sydney it is largely 
gathered, and made into jam, and jelly. For Blackberry wine, 
which is a reliable astringent cordial, measure your berries, and 
bruise them ; then to every gallon of the fruit add a quart of 
boiling water. Let the mixture stand for twenty-four hours, 
being occasionally stirred ; next strain ofi the Hquid, adding to 
every gallon a couple of pounds of refined sugar, and keep it in 
a caskj tightly corked, until, the following October, when it will 
be ripe and rich. " It's my own wine," said Armorel of Lyonesse 
(Besant) ; " I made it myself last year of ripe Blackberries." 
" Wine of Samson," answered Roland Lee, " the glorious vintage 
of the Blackberry ; in pies, and jam-pots I know him, but not 



BLACKBERRY. 105 



as yet in decanters. Thank you ! thank you ! " He held the 
glass to the light, smelt it, rolled it gently round in the glass, 
and then tasted it. " Sweet," he said critically, " and strong : 
clings to the palate : a liqueur wine ! a curious wine ! " Then 
he drank it up. 

Other home-made sweet Wines are almost equally delicious, 
and singularly wholesome, containing but little spirit, and each 
possessing the herbal virtues of the fruit, or flowers, from which 
it is made. " Perhaps you'd like to spend a couple of shillings, 
or so in a bottle of Currant wine bye-and-bye up in the bedroom," 
said Steerforth to httle David Copperfield, when newly come 
to Salem House School ; " you belong to my bedroom, I find." 

So, respecting British Raisin wine (which is luscious, and slightly 
laxative), C. S. Calverley relates, touching the fair JuUa Goodchild, 
when he was a frisky pupil at Dr. Crabb's Boarding School : — 

" With me she danced till drowsily her eyes began to blink ; 
When I brought her Raisin wine, and said, ' Drink, pretty creature ; 
Drink ! ' " 

It was the opinion of Charles Dickens that the proper place 
for Champagne is not at the dinner-table, but at the dance, 
where " it takes its fitting rank, and position, among feathers, 
gauze, lace, embroidery, ribbons, white satin shoes, and Bau de 
Cologne ; for Champagne is simply one of the elegant extras of 
hfe." 

A fermented liquor may be made also from the sap of the 
Birch tree [Beivla alba) in the Spring time, this being collected 
throughout the mountains, and wooded districts of Germany, 
and Scandinavia. It is possessed of diuretic properties, and 
is antiscorbutic, being especially commended for modifying the 
symptoms of diabetes melhtus. Birch bark yields an oil which 
is used for giving to Russia leather its peculiar pleasant odour. 
In the treatment of various chronic maladies the leaves, the sap, 
and the oil of this tree are employed. The West Indian Birch, 
or " gumbo-lumbo," furnishes a kind of gum-elemi, which is 
beneficial in the treatment of gout. The traditional use of a 
Birch-rod is known to us all from our youth upwards. Hood 
bore witness to its tender mercies at Clapham Academy : — 

" There I was birched, there I was bred. 
There, like a little Adam fed 
From learning's woeful tree." 

In Chaucer's time " Gon a blackberyed " seems to have been 



106 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



a humorous expression signifying " Gone to pot," or " Gone to 
ruin." " Though that her soul's gon' a blackeberyed " {Pardners 
Tale). Jelly, or jam made from the Brambleberry, and taken 
on bread in the place of butter, was highly commended against 
rod gravel by Mr. Pott, a noted surgeon, two centuries ago. Dr. 
Franklin, who suffered long from stone in the bladder, has 
recorded his assurance that Blackberry jam, of which he con- 
sumed large quantities, certainly served to relieve him. The 
Anglo-Saxon name was " Bramble-apple." Gipsies say that 
in cooking Blackberries you cannot stew them too long. For 
" Blackberry Cordial " the juice should be expressed from fresh 
ripe fruit, putting half a pound of white sugar to each quart of 
this juice, together with half an ounce of powdered nutmeg, and 
the same of cloves (bruised) ; boil these together for a short 
time, and add a httle good brandy to the mixture when cold. 
In Cruso's Treasury of Easy Medicines (1771) it is directed for 
old inveterate ulcers, to take a decoction of Blackberry leaves 
made with wine, and foment the ulcers with this whilst hot, 
each night and morning, which will heal them, however difficult 
to be cured. 

BLOOD OF ANIMALS. 

When Animal Blood is used in cooking : for example, in the 
sausages known as black puddings, the addition of several 
aromatic spices is necessary so as to overcome its alkaline flatness, 
and lack of savour. " Blood," says Dr. Thudicum, " is not 
capable of giving a savoury extract (to gravy), although the 
blood of each species of eatable animal has its particular, and 
distinctive flavour ; that of the ox, and cow being remarkably 
redolent of musk." But among civilized nations the pig is the 
only animal of which the Blood famishes a distinct article of 
food ; mixed with fat, und spices, whilst enclosed in prepared 
intestines, this pig's blood is made into black puddings. 
Chemically the Blood of animals contains a considerable quantity 
of iron, besides albumin, fibrin, hydrogen, some traces of prussic 
acid,i and some empyreumatic oil. The serum, or thin part of 
the Blood, includes sulphur. Experimentally it turns out that 
the blood of snails, which is colourless, contains as much iron 
as that of the ox, or calf, this fact going to prove that the red 
colour of animal Blood is not due, as is generally supposed, to 
the presence of iron in that fluid. The saline constituents of 



BLOOD OF ANIMALS. 107 

Blood are phosphates of lime, and magnesium, with chlorides, 
sulphates, and phosphates of potash and soda. In Pickwick, 
Mr. Roker, the coarse turnkey at the Fleet Prison for debt, 
when showing Mr. Pickwick what were to be his wretched 
quarters there, turned fiercely round on him whilst he was mildly 
expostulating, and uttered in an excited fashion " certain 
unpleasant invocations concerning his own eyes, limbs, and 
circulating fluids." 

Pliny tells us that the Blood of animals (and, indeed, human 
Blood as well) was administered in his time for curative purposes ; 
so Ukewise the Blood of the ox is in medicinal vogue to-day in 
certain parts of the Western Hemisphere. This is because of 
the well-ascertained fact that iron, particularly its organic salt 
(haemoglobin) as found in Blood, forms one of the most important 
constituents. It may be thus supphed from the pig in the 
cuhnary form of black puddings ; as Ukewise from the ox, or 
sheep, if so desired. Among the Boers in South Africa dog's 
Blood is an estabhshed remedy for convulsions, and fits. 

It is of modern discovery that in health the human liver has 
to receive a comparatively large allowance of iron, for carrying 
on the vital processes of combustion and oxidation, as its special 
functions. This iron is best obtained from the food, and not 
through any form of physic. We know that many animals, espe- 
cially beasts of prey, derive their needful supply of iron exclusively 
from meat containing a large proportion of Blood, which is rich 
in organic iron. Towards overcoming the natural repugnance 
of a patient to drinking animal Blood for acquiring its iron 
remedially, some skilful foreign chemists have produced this 
essential product of late in a compact form, which they term 
" Sanguinal," as a brownish red powder consisting (as is asserted) 
of pure crystallized haemoglobin, with the mineral Blood con- 
stituents, and of muscle albumin. Hypothetically it is fair to 
suppose that in this way the red corpuscles of a bloodless patient 
may be beneficially augmented. 

Pepys (October 17th, 1667) observed about a Mr. Andrews 
who was dining with him, " What an odd, strange fancy he hath 
to raw meat, that he eats it with no pleasure unless the Blood 
run about his chops," which it did now by a leg of mutton that 
was not above half -boiled ; but " it seems at home all his meat 
is dressed so, beef and all." 

Practical experiments have shown that metalhc iron, in 



108 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

whatever form it is administered medicinally, can be recovered 
from the excretions, absolutely undiminished in quantity, so that 
evidently no particle thereof is assimilated into the system. 
Nevertheless, the machinery of red Blood-making is undoubtedly 
started afresh by giving iron, whether in food, or in physic (much 
more problematically). In 1902 Professor Bunge read an 
important paper on " Iron in Medicine " before the German 
Medical Congress. He advocated an increased attention to 
foods containing iron, as a substitute for its administration in 
drug-form. " Spinach," said he, " is richer in iron than yolk 
of egg, and yolk of egg than beef ; milk is almost devoid of iron ; 
and, as if to provide against this defect, the Blood of the infant 
mammal is more plentifully endowed with the essential ingre- 
dients than that of adults, thus showing that nature is always 
sell-provident." Garden spinach (one of the " Goosefoot " 
order), than which no better blood-purifier grows amongst 
vegetables, contains iron as one of its most abundant salts ; 
hence it is a valuable food for bloodless persons ; moreover, in 
both salinity, and digestibility it leads the kitchen greens, its 
amount of salts being 2 per cent, whereby it helps to furnish 
red colouring matter (hsemoglobin) for the blood. In the fruit 
world even the apple does not afiord so much iron as this vege- 
table, neither does the strawberry. Spinach insists on having a 
rich soil in which to grow, out of which it extracts a large 
proportion of saUne matters. Its full green juice abounds in 
chlorophyll, insomuch that the spinach may be cooked entirely 
in its own fluids, and in the steam which will arise from them. 
This brilliant green principle of colour, elaborated from the 
yellow and blue rays of the sunlight, is peculiarly salubrious. 
Evelyn (Acetaria) has said, " Spinach being boil'd to a pulp, 
and without other water than its own moisture, is a most 
excellent condiment for almost all sorts of boil'd flesh, and may 
accompany a sick man's diet. 'Tis laxative and emollient, and 
therefore profitable for the aged." 

Savoy, a nutritious, and wholesome companion of spinach, 
contains the greatest amount of vegetable oil of all this class of 
kitchen plants ; and spinach runs the luxuriant Savoy very close 
in its complement of bland oil-salts, which render the juices 
nourishing. Quite half a pint of spinach-oil might be expressed 
from a hundred pounds of the vegetable, and sometimes more 
than this from the same quantity of Savoy. 



BRAINS OF ANIMALS, 109 



BRAINS OF ANIMALS. 



The Brains of animals consist largely of a fatty matter containing 
cholesterin, and lecithin, the latter element being comparatively 
rich in phosphorus. Dr. Salmon (in 1696) directed that " a 
ram's Brain fried, and a cake made of it with sheep suet, 
cinnamon, and nutmeg, is good against the lethargic, and other 
drowsie diseases." But Dr. Yeo now admonishes that " the large 
percentage of fat contained in the Brains of animals renders 
them difficult of use as food by weak stomachs." Nevertheless, 
ordinarily, owing to its soft consistency, the Brain is more readily 
digested than any other animal part ; but, unfortunately, it is 
very imperfectly absorbed. 43 per cent of it being voided in the 
excrement from the bowels. Therefore, in spite of its easy 
digestibility, it cannot be regarded as a valuable food for invalids. 
Neither, as he supposes, is it in any sense specially fitted for 
" making Brains." " Some persons do fancy," said Lemery 
(1674), as an ancient writer has told, " that rabbit's Brains 
weaken the memory, because this animal cannot for a moment 
after retain in mind the toils laid for her, and that she had just 
escaped ; but this conjecture being founded on a weak foundation, 
T shall not stop here, and go about to confute it." 

To blanch (calf's) Brains, put them into a basin, with some 
cold, well-salted water to wash them ; then strain, and rinse 
them in two or three other waters ; put them into a stewpan, 
with a sliced onion, a small bunch of herbs, a few black and 
white peppercorns, and a teaspoonful of lemon-juice ; bring 
them to the boil, then leave them in the liquid until cold ; remove 
the outside of the Brains, and cut up the inside white part into 
small dice, and use them for the table. The calf's Brain is 
tasteless of itself, but palatable with a white sauce, and absolutely 
tender ; when fried it evolves a very fine osmazome flavour, 
superior to that of any meat, or game ; but the least over-frying 
is destructive of this flavour. Ox Brain is not eatable. Brain 
substance, or its medicinal principle — " cerebrin " — got from the 
grey matter of calves', and sheeps' Brains, is used remedially by 
modern physicians against some forms of disease in the human 
brain. Concerning the dictum which has obtained a widespread 
belief as to the functions of the human brain, that " without 
phosphorus there is no thought," this is only true in the sense 
that the brain contains phosphorus as one of its constituents ; 



110 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

and, unless we use tlie brain, thought, it would seem, is unthink- 
able. But the fact has never been shown that an increased 
supply of phosphorus in the food is especially favourable to 
mental efiort. " It comes to this on the whole," says Dr. 
Hutchison, " that the digestibility of a food is of far greater 
concern to a brain-worker than its chemical composition." 
Furthermore, mental work influences the amount, and nature 
of the food which thereby becomes needed, in a different way 
from muscular labour. Brain work does not appreciably 
increase bodily waste at all, a fact which should be reaUzed, 
and acted upon as regards the daily diet. " Mark this," wrote 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, " that I am going to say, for it is as 
good as a working-man's professional advice, and costs you 
nothing : It is better to lose a pint of blood from your veins 
than to have your nerves tapped. Nobody measures your 
nerve-force as it runs away, nor bandages your brain and marrow 
after the operation." As to special Brain nutriments, they do not 
exist. Small, and rather frequent meals of easily-digested food 
make up the ideal to aim at, it being remembered that brain 
work is usually also sedentary work. The reduction in the diet 
for mental work should probably affect the starches, sweets, 
and fats, more than the animal foods, fish, fowl, meat, eggs, 
and milk. 

BRANDY {See Coedials.) 

BREAD. 

Bkead is such an essential food in all countries that it may well 
be called the " Stafi of Life." " Qvando deest panis tunc est 
cihus omnis inanis : " — " If Bread one needs in vain one feeds." 
Our Bread was evolved from the Old Eastern flat-cake, which 
was first leavened by the Egyptians, who probably taught the 
Greeks how to make it. From these latter the Romans acquired 
the knowledge, which in due course they passed on to the 
conquered Britons. It is named from the verbal root " hre owan," 
to brew, in allusion to the working of the yeast as leaven, thereby 
setting up alcohohc fermentation, with the production of some 
alcohol, and carbonic acid gas, the former of which slowly 
evaporates. The common household loaf of our daily Bread 
holds its J per cent of alcohol. 
Yeast, " levain " {Saccharomyces cerevisice), consists of fungi 



BREAD. Ill 

growing rapidly in fermenting wort, and setting up a similar 
fermentation in beers, bread, and other starchy matters into 
which they are introduced. Yeast consists of aggregations of 
minute cells, each cell constituting a distinct plant. It is 
employed for inducing fermentation in the making of malt 
liquors, and of distilled spirits, being also the agent in setting 
up the panary fermentation of Bread, whereby the Bread- 
substance is rendered light, porous, and spongy by its aeration 
throughout. Beer yeast may be employed as an antiseptic 
stimulant. German yeast is the ordinary yeast, collected, 
drained, and pressed until nearly dry, in which condition it can 
be kept good for several months. Patent yeast is gathered 
from a wort of malt and hops, and treated in a similar way to 
German yeast. Leaven is called in Greek Zymee, a yeast, or 
ferment ; and hence the term " zymotic " has come to express, 
and signify a class of diseases due to inj urious ferments. There is 
now made a product, Levurine, as derived from the yeast of 
beer, possessing remarkable powers of destroying the micro- 
organisms which underlie boils, carbuncles, and abscesses. It 
is a coarse, brown powder, with a characteristic yeasty odour, 
and is given in doses of from one to three teaspoonfuls, in water, 
or milk, or in cachets. Likewise a yeast poultice is antiseptic, 
and a spoonful of fresh yeast is a good remedy for " furun- 
culosis," or an outbreak of boils. These are immediately due 
to penetration of the skin from without by the sta'phylocoocus 
fyogenes, and other allied micro-organisms ; so that external 
germicides are called for ; but, probably, also, there is a predis- 
posing condition of the whole system at the time (the urine 
being alkaline) ; therefore such medicinal remedies as fresh 
lemon-juice, and orange-juice, will be likewise helpfully alterative. 
There are certain objections to be made against using yeast 
for leavening Bread, because of chemical changes which follow, 
so that some of the flour's nourishing constituents are lost thereby. 
English baking powders are made exclusively of tartaric acid, 
with carbonate of soda, because this acid is cheaper than the 
superior cream of tartar (an article very commonly adulterated), 
which works more slowly in the baking, and leads to lighter 
bread ; also arrowroot is mixed with the baking powder for 
keeping it dry, otherwise a premature chemical combination 
takes place between the acid and the alkah (particularly if at 
all meeting with damp) before the powder comes into use for 



112 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

baking purposes. The products of such, combination in the 
dough are carbonic acid gas (which lightens the Bread,) and 
some tartrate of soda (which is slightly laxative). 

Bread laws date back in England certainly to the time of 
King John, from whose reign until that of Edward I. 
(1280) a seal had to be affixed to every loaf in order that none 
save those of the prescribed size should be sold. Each baker 
had his own trade-mark, which he was called on to duly register, 
so that in any case of dispute it was quite easy to trace a loaf 
to its maker. There were several qualities of loaves always 
made, the pure white, or Simnel Bread, being then, as now, 
that of the " Quality-folk " ; a Bread somewhat less luxurious 
was Wastel ; next came " PufEe," and " Croquet " ; then Trete 
(or brown Bread) ; and finally the black Bread of rye called 
" all sorts." In olden days Bread was never sold on the baker's 
premises : it had to be taken to the regular Bread market in 
paniers ; and the usual way of obtaining it was through the 
regatresses, who purchased thirteen loaves at the market for 
the price of twelve, and then hawked them from door to door, 
their profit being the sale of the odd loaf in each " baker s dozen." 
Brown Bread is wheaten Bread made from unbolten flour, so 
that the bran remains included. In the United States it is 
commonly called Graham Bread. Pour or five hundred years 
ago this kind of Bread, which was then the staple food of the 
poorer classes, was known as " trete, or " bis, being made of 
meal which was only once bolted ; and to this day bran is 
called " trete " in the " North Countree." 

" The farmer has brown Bread as fresh as day. 
And butter fragrant as the dew of May. 
A widow has cold pye. Nurse gives you cake. 
From gen'rous merchants ham, or sturgeon take." 

The origin of wheat is hidden in obscurity ; no other cereal 
will grow in so many climates as wheat, and none of the other 
cereals are so suitable for making Bread. Wheat grain contains 
everything necessary for supporting Hfe. All the thirteen 
minerals, besides flesh-formers, body-warmers, and fatteners, 
are packed up in each little grain of the wheat ; but, unfor- 
tunately, most of these nourishment factors are abstracted when 
the grain is ground by the miller ; he leaves only the fine wheaten 
flour for making white Bread ; nearly all the minerals are sifted 
out ; and, in fact, little remains for the purpose of bread-making 



BREAD. 113 



besides starch, which only fattens, but does not restore nerve, 
muscle, or bone. When " milled " the outermost coat of wheat 
yields hran, fine pollards, sharps, and middlings, the white flour 
within being derived solely from the endosperm. Ordinary Bread 
is usually made from a mixture of " whites, ' and " households." 
" Seconds " flour yields a . Bread which is richer in proteid 
than the " whites," but the loaf is apt to be rather dark in colour. 
" Hovis " flour, prepared by using superheated steam, becomes 
richer in proteid, and fat, than ordinary flour. 

The making of Bread from wheaten flour is only possible because 
this contains glvten, a proteid, or mixture of proteids, which has 
the peculiar property of becoming viscid when moistened with 
water. If the viscid mass composed thus is blown out with inter- 
spersed gas, it has sufiicient coherence to remain in the form of a 
sponge, or honeycomb, instead of collapsing again, and allowing 
the gas to escape. Most other cereals, such as barley, rice, and 
oatmeal, do not contain gluten, but possess other forms of proteid 
which fail to become viscid when wetted, and ■ consequently 
Bread cannot be made out of these. When Bread is kept it 
becomes dry from loss of its water, also it becomes stale by the 
shrinking, and coming together of the wall fibres. In the cooking 
of Bread a little caramel (or burnt sugar) is produced. New 
Bread, unless thoroughly chewed, and separated by mastication, 
ofiers greater resistance to action upon it by the stomach juices 
than stale Bread, owing to the tendency of the new, moist dough 
to clog in close masses. " He that will have a cake out of the 
wheat must needs tarry the grinding " {Troilus and Cressida). 
Wheat grain may be used whole as a food, being soaked in 
water until it swells up, and bursts, and then boiled in milk, 
with sugar, and other ingredients, thus making the old, and very 
nourishing mess, formerly called frumenty, which is seldom seen 
nowadays . on the farmhouse table as of yore. A quaint 
quondam nursery rhyme, which has an occult significance, 
runs to this efiect : — 

" Hark ! Hark ! the dogs do bark, 

The beggars are come to town ; 
Some in jags, and some in rags. 

And one in a velvet gown. 
Some give them white bread. 

Some give them brown ; 
Some take a long pole. 

And drive them out of the town." 



114 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

This disorderly episode must refer to the time when (as Alice 
learnt Through the Looking-glass) : — 

" The Lion and the Unicorn 
Were fighting for the crown.'' 

Prown Bread in which raisins (stoned, and slightly chopped) 
are mixed, makes a nice loaf which is gently laxative. In the 
United States Graham Bread is made with milk, and white flour, 
for afternoon use, whilst for the morning Graham flour is em- 
ployed, with Porto Rico molasses added. Boston brown Bread is 
manufactured from meal of yellow corn, Graham flour, salt, soda, 
sour milk, Porto Rico molasses, and batter ; it is first boiled in 
a covered mould, and then baked uncovered so as to form a 
crust. Brown Bread and cherry pudding, is the English analogue 
of the thick German cherry cake, eaten cold. The bran which 
is included in wholemeal Bread contains a considerable amount of 
albuminoid nourishment, as " cerealin," this being allied to the 
solids of milk. It is a soluble nitrogenised ferment, which has a 
powerful action on starch, converting it rapidly into dextrin, and 
other similar bodies, thereby actually malting the bread. White 
wheaten Bread does not contain enough of this albuminoid 
matter to make it a complete human food ; therefore it has 
been sometimes proposed, and practised, to retain the bran, 
grinding its silica, and cellulose into a very fine dust ; but the 
realization of this method has proved a failure, and has properly 
met with the unquahfied condemnation of all scientific men. 
We leave the bran to the animals, which have hitherto consumed 
it : " Some of them, hke millers' horses, are not without evil 
efiects from the magnesium phosphate, in the bran-forming 
calcuh within their intestines." Moreover, the husk of whole 
meal, when used in making Bread, is less digestible than the 
inner white flour of wheat, whilst the undigested particles 
will irritate the lining coats of the intestines when passing 
along. " Therefore," says Dr. King Chambers, " white Bread 
is generally chosen in preference by shrewd working-men who 
wish to make their money spent in food go as far as it can." 
But it must be allowed that our fine white Breads of to-day, 
from which all the husk is excluded, and which do not contain 
the hme, are less favourable for building up the bony structures 
than was the Bread of rye and barley which was pretty general 
throughout several English counties early in the nineteenth 



BREAD. 115 



century. " Triticumina " bread is prepared from the entire 
wheat grain, including its cerealin ; but Dr. Hutchison, who is 
the best modern authority on foods, and their nutrient values, 
declares his belief that no dietetic salvation can be obtained by 
the use of whole-meal Breads. " I am no believer," he says, 
" in the brown-bread fallacy." 

The phosphatides of cereals contain phosphorus, and nitrogen ; 
their compounds are essential constituents of aU the nuclei (or 
central vitality) of cells in bodily structures, and therefore they 
are prominent ingredients in nerve tissues. The chief restorative 
phosphorus-principle is known as lecithin : it is procurable 
from the cereals, from eggs, apples, and other food sources. 

For some unhealthy conditions of the skin, with tetter, or 
ringworm (through a predisposition to develop its mycelium), 
sluggish sores, and other signs of defective nutrition, a diet 
consisting chiefly of whole-wheat meal, with fresh, ripe, sound 
fruit, and fresh, succulent vegetables, will prove curative ; and 
at the same time some of the fixed oil expressed from the wheat 
germs will heal the sores by its outward application. Bread, 
mixed with sea-water, is now used in Philadelphia for some 
forms of indigestion. The finest wheat meal, when cooked with 
fruit, is famous against chronic constipation ; but whole-wheat 
meal prepared as Bread by simple baking is less nutritious than 
fine flour similarly prepared. The roller mill has of late dimin- 
ished the dietetic value of our Bread, because the finer the 
flour the less nutriment it affords. Furthermore, defective teeth 
result from a lack of grain sufficiently coarse to require some 
masticatory grinding. Savages usually possess magnificent molars, 
mainly because of their Bread, which is composed of grain 
roughly pounded between stones, and retaining much of the 
coarser parts. 

Rye contains less gluten even than barley, and thus yields 
with leaven a heavy, close-grained Bread of darkest colour ; 
its bran, however well ground, is never absorbed. The latest 
equivalent to the Pumpernickel, or black Bread of North 
Germany, is the English " York Night Bread," so called because 
it must be baked throughout a whole night. Rye grains contain 
a pecuhar odorous substance, and make a sour-tasting, dark 
Bread, which is apt to cause diarrhoea with some persons ; these 
grains are liable to the attack of a parasitic fungus, and to become 
" spurred," being then poisonous to the spinal cord. Bread 



116 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

made of lye flour with which a small quantity of the spurred 
rye is included, is to be sometimes prescribed for defective spinal 
energy. 

Alum, as " stufE," or " rocky," is mixed with the dough by 
bakers in general for making Bread (about two ounces to 280 
pounds of dough), because it certainly improves the appearance 
of the Bread, whitens it, and causes the loaves to break more easily 
when separated from one another. Potatoes, again, are employed 
by bakers, under the name of " fruit," for bread-making — one 
peck to the sack of flour — not as an adulteration for cheapening 
the produce, but beneficially to assist fermentation ; mashed 
in their skins, and with yeast added, they supply a ferment. 

" How is Bread made ? " asked the Red Queen of Alice 
(Through the Looking Glass). " I know," cried Alice, eagerly ; 
" you take some flour." " Where do you pick the flower ' " 
the White Queen asked ; " in a garden, or in the hedges ? " 
" Well : it isn't picked at all," AUce explained ; " it's ground." 
" How many acres of ground ? " said the White Queen. 

The crust of Bread is shown to contain more proteid, or 
principal nutriment, than the crumb. Crust coffee is a light, 
useful drink for invalids, which resembles in colour an infusion 
oi coffee berries, and is made by steeping well-browned, or 
toasted crusts of Bread in cold water. For making " Brewis," 
take as many crusts, and other fragments of dry Bread as will 
be required ; put them into a basin ; pour over them sufficient 
boiling milk to well cover them ; stand a plate on top of the 
vessel, and leave them to soak until they have absorbed the 
whole of the liquid, and are perfectly tender ; then mash them 
to a smooth paste, removing any hard bits ; stir in a small lump 
of fresh butter ; season with salt, and a squeeze of lemon-juice, 
and serve them hot^ or cold, with a jug of butter-milk, or cream. 

One Tyson, in Manchester, a while ago, achieved fame as 
proprietor of a house noted for hot buttered toast. It was 
Tyson's humour to supply for his customers only chops, steaks, 
Cumberland ham, hot buttered toast, and insolence. " The 
excellence of his ham and toast, and the badness of his manners, 
were Tyson's peculiar claims to remembrance. He walked 
about the place in his shirt sleeves, superintending proceedings, 
and showing rudeness to his customers. We regret to find 
that by these means he acquired fame, and wealth." In the 
Book of Nonsense, written by Edward Lear, London (1862), 



BREAD. 117 

and dedicated to " the grandchildren, grand-nephews, and grand- 
nieces of Edward, the thirteenth Earl of Derby," we read with 
amusement : — 

" Tiere was an old man of the coast, 
Who placidly sat on a post ; 
But when it was cold, he relinquished his hold. 
And called for some hot buttered toast." 

This was quite a wise thing to do, seeing that the melted butter 
would serve admirably as fuel to quicken his bodily warmth. 

At the"Marquis of Granby's" (of glorious memory) inPickmck, 
when Sam Weller paid a visit to Mrs. Weller, his mother-in-law, 
" the fire was blazing brightly in the bar parlour, and a plate of 
hot buttered toast was gently simmering before the fire, and 
the red-nosed man was busily converting a large shoe of bread 
into the same agreeable edible on a long brass toasting-fork. 
' Governor in ? ' enquired Sam. ' He may be, or he may not,' 
replied Mrs. Weller, buttering another round of toast for the 
red-nosed man. ' Ask a blessin', Mr. Stiggins.' The red-nosed 
man did as he was desired, and instantly commenced on the 
toast with fierce voracity." Quite an important medical art 
is that of making proper toast for the sick person. If the slice 
of bread is thick, and carelessly exposed to a blazing fire, the 
outside is charred, and converted into charcoal before the heat 
can reach the inside. Thus the moisture within is only heated, 
not evaporated, and makes the inside doughy, or clammy ; and 
butter, when spread upon this toast, cannot penetrate through 
into the interior bread, but floats upon the surface in the form 
of oil, and the result is one of the most indigestible of compounds. 
The correct way is to have the bread stale, and cut into thin 
uniform slices, and to dry it thoroughly before browning it. 
Toast of this kmd, when moistened with water, or with milk, 
is easily, and thoroughly acted upon by the digestive glands. 
But when it is a chip, dry enough to snap, is too dry. A central 
layer of soft bread lends it unity, and preserves enough moisture 
to influence the whole. If the intervening bread between 
the two toasted surfaces is more than a mere hint, then has the 
toaster failed ignominiously. Such an anomaly is " Uke dancing 
in thin boots surmounted by heavy gaiters." We remember it 
was " a lunatic, all gas, and gaiters," who made love to Mrs. 
Nickleby, the loquacious mother of Nicholas. 

When sugar is continuously heated, its water is driven off. 



118 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



and presently the sugar grows darker and darker in colour until 
it is charred black, and becomes on the outside " caramel," 
which possesses disinfecting properties. Similarly, when bread 
is toasted, its starch is converted by the fire into dextrin, water 
being driven off, and the dextrin is carbonized, or burnt brown 
into " caramel," nearly identical with that of sugar. The toast, 
therefore, has likewise disinfecting properties, and when soaked 
in water makes this toast-water antiseptic, so that its adminis- 
tration in fever, and other septic diseases is a practically scientific 
proceeding. " Our forefathers and foremothers," says Mattieu 
WilUams, " probably made this discovery through empirical 
experience when living in country places where stagnant water 
was a common beverage, and various devices were tried for 
making it drinkable. When toast-water is prepared by toasting 
a small piece of bread to blackness, and letting this fioat on water 
in a glass vessel, an observer can notice that little thread-like 
streams of brown liquid are descending from the bread into the 
water. They denote a solution of the caramel substance, which 
ultimately proceeds to tinge all the water. It is in just the same 
way that meat, or game, which is high before being cooked, 
becomes, if roasted, or baked, similarly carbonized, and browned 
outside, and thus made sweet." 

To cook food au gratin means that the substance is covered 
with fine bread-crumb, so as to absorb the gravy thereof. 
" Gratins " were originally the browned parts of cooked rice. 
The French dishes " au gratin " signify soups, or sauces consoli- 
dated by dry heat round spongy objects, such as crusts of bread. 
When the great Duke of Wellington returned to Dover in 1814, 
after an absence abroad for six years, the first order he gave 
at the " Ship Inn " was for an unlimited supply of buttered 
toast. Moore's pathetic lines, (in The Fire Worshippers, 1839)— 

' ' I never nursed a dear gazelle. 

To glad me with its soft black eye, 
But when it came to know me well. 
And love me, it was sure to die," 

have been_adroitly parodied thus — 

' ' I never took a piece of toast, 
Particularly long, and wide, 
But fell upon the sanded floor, 
And always on its buttered side." 

It is aptly said, " An epicure can breakfast well with fine bread 



BREAD. 119 

and butter, and good cofiee." Nine persons out of ten, when 
ttey call a man an epicure mean it as a sort of reproach., as one 
who is not content with everyday food, one whom plain fare 
would fail to satisfy ; but Grimod de la Reyniere, the most 
famous gourmet of his day, author of Almanach des Gourmands, 
(Paris, 1812), said : " A true epicure can dine well from one 
dish, provided it be excellent of its kind. Yes ! excellence is 
the object to be aimed at ; if it be but potatoes and salt, let 
the potatoes be mealy, and the salt ground fine." Thackeray 
declared an epicure to be " one who never tires of brown bread, 
and fresh butter." 

Fried Bread is a good, homely, nutritious dish. " Take slices 
of brown Bread, fry them a nice brown with some dripping 
(either of beef, mutton, or fowl), and serve warm, with pepper." 

" There was a Prince of Lubberland, 
A potentate of high command : 
Ten thousand bakers did attend him. 
Ten thousand brewers did befriend him ; 
These brought him kissing crusts and those 
Brought him small beer before he rose."* 

The Art of Cookery. 

" Likewise a few rounds of buttered toast," said Mrs. Gamp, 
when giving her orders for her tea to Jonas Chuzzlewit's servant, 
" first cuttin' off the crustes in consequence of tender teeth, and 
not too many on 'em, which Gamp hisself , being in liquor, struck 
out four at one blow, — two single, and two double, as wos took 
by Mrs. Harris for a keepsake, and is carried in her pocket at 
this present hoar along wi' two cramp-bones, a bit of ginger, 
and a grater hke a blessed infant's shoe in tin, with a small heel 
to put the nutmeg in." " Toast and water is a friend, a sick- 
room ally. It is as cooUng as the wind of the morning across 
fields of dew." Again, toast swimming in beef-tea constitutes 
the first soUd food that a convalescent patient may take. 

For Brown Bread soup, stew half a pound of brown bread- 
crumbs in half a pint of light beer, and half a pint of water ; 
when these are well blended, add half a pound of brown sugar, 
and half a pound of stewed French plums ; boil all together, 
and serve hot. Whipped cream will improve the soup, if suitable. 

In Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford we read of " Bread-jelly, for which 

• In imitation of Horace's Art of Poetry {de arte Poeticd), by the author 
of Tale of a Tub, (W. King, 1709.) " Coquus omnia miscet " (Juvenal). 



120 MEALS MEmCINAL. 

Mrs. Forester was famous. A present of this Bread-jelly was 
the highest mark of favour dear Mrs. Forester could confer. 
Miss Pole had once asked her for the receipt, but had met 
with a very decided rebuff ; that lady told her she could not 
part with it to anyone during her life ; and that after her death 
it was bequeathed, as her executors would find, to Miss Matty. 
What Miss Matilda Jenkyns might choose to do with the receipt 
when it came into her possession, whether to make it pubHc, 
or to hand it down as a heirloom, she did not know, nor would 
she dictate. And a mould of this admirable, digestible, unique 
Bread-jelly was sent by Mrs. Forester to our poor sick conjuror. 
Who says the aristocracy are proud ? " 

In a Choice Manual : or Rare Secrets in Physich and Ghirurgery 
(1653) is the following as " a good remedie against the pleurisie " : 
" Open a white loaf in the middle (new baked), and spread it 
well with triacle on both the halfes on the crown side, and heat 
it at the fire ; then lay one of the halfes on the place of the disease, 
and the other half on the other side of the body directly against 
it, and so bind them that they loose not, nor stirre, leaving them 
so a day arid a night, or until the imposthume break, which I 
have sometimes seen in two hours, or lesse ; then take away the 
Bread, and the patient will immediately begin to spit, and void 
the putrefaction of the imposthume ; and after he hath slept 
a Uttle, yee shall give him meat ; and with the help of God hee 
shall shortly heale." 

For ear-ache the country people in some districts pound up 
the crumb of a loaf hot from the oven, together with a small 
handful of bruised caraway seeds ; then wetting the whole with 
some spirit, they apply it for a while to the painful, and swollen 
part. 

In former FjngUsh days the way to "make a Panada" was 
" to set on the quantity you will make in a posnet of fair water ; 
when it boils put a mace in, and a little bit of cinnamon, and 
a handful of currans, and so much bread as you think meet ; 
so boil it, and season it with salt, sugar, and rose-water ; arid so 
serve it." 

■ Muffins consist of a dough made soft with milk, first mixed 
with German yeast, the white of egg being added, and the dough 
being put under cover before the fire to rise. When saturated 
with hot melted butter, the muffin needs a vigorous digestion 
to negotiate it. Sam Weller told to Mr. Pickwick a story which 



BROTHS. 121 



is much to the point about a man who " killed hisself on 
principle," giving the doctor to know he had eaten four crumpets 
every night for fifteen years " on principle " : " Four crumpets 
a night," said the doctor, " will do your business in six months." 
" Are you sure of that 'ere ? " enquired the patient. " I'll stake 
my professional reputation on it," answered the doctor. " How 
many crumpets at a sitting do you think would polish me off ? " 
asked the patient. " Do you think half-a-crown's worth would 
do it ? " "I think it might," said the doctor. " Three shillings 
would be sure to do it, T suppose ? " says the patient. " Cer- 
tainly," says the doctor. " Wery good," says the patient ; 
" Good night." Next morning he gets up, has a fire lit, orders 
in three shillings' worth o' crumpets, toasts 'em all, eats 'em all, 
and so puts an end to hisself." The crumpet resembles the 
spongy inside of a muffin. It much resembles a round piece 
of a blanket soaked in butter, and is nearly as indigestible ; 
the slang title " sudden death " has been given to this risky 
comestible. 

" Bread," said the Psalmist " eaten in sorrow is vain." Yet 
for a sick person of feeble digestive powers, and with a capricious 
appetite, simply-made bread-sauce, which can be most readily 
prepared, wiU often prove grateful, and nourishing, being, 
moreover, suggestive of game, or fowl. Take a pint of milk, 
a cupful of crumbled bread-crumb, a small onion, a blade of 
mace, a little pepper, and salt ; peel, and cut the onion into 
quarters, and simmer them in the milk until tender, then take 
them out ; stir the fine bread-crumbs into the boiling milk, 
and beat this with a fork very smoothly ; add the seasoning, 
and batter, and a little white pepper, and give one more boil. 
To enrich the sauce, if desired, a spoonful of cream may be 
added. Time of making will be altogether only half-an-hour. 

BROTHS. 

It was about the year 1820 that the term Broth was for the first 
time given to an essential solution of meat, the strength thereof 
being determined by the weights of the principal ingredients used. 
In 1740, according to Le Cuisinier Moderne, an extract of meat 
was prepared in dry tablets " which might be easily transported, 
and preserved during a year, or longer." These dissolved into ex- 
cellent Broth, though half their solid matter was gelatine. The 



122 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

French Chemist, Chevreul, who examined this extract of meat in 
1835, discovered therein the crystalhzed substance " creatin," and 
thus originated a chemical knowledge of the principles of flesh. 
The Germans call such an evaporated extract of the stock-pot 
" pocket-bouillon," and the French style it " bouillon sec." 
Prout surmised that the active element of sapid meat-extract 
is an acid, probably the " inosinic acid " of Liebig. The French 
School of Cookery has unanimously adopted the principle that 
Broth is the foundation of this art, because it is the basis of all 
sauces ; since, according to the French system, the sauce is the 
prime element, if not the actual raison d'Ure of the entree which 
it supplements. For extemporizing^ or strengthening Broths 
" Le Saveur des Potages " (known in this country as " Maggi's 
Essence ") is of great value, and importance. It is a highly 
concentrated liquid essence, which has to be as sparingly 
employed as though one were making up a prescription ; it is 
therefore supplied in small bottles which have little curved 
spouts fitted in the neck, and thus enable the Uquid to be dis- 
pensed drop by drop ; the effect of a few drops on a thin Broth, 
or Soup is almost magical. To make therewith a good cup of 
Broth : Beat up the yolk of an egg in a basin previously warmed ; 
add an eggspoonful of the said essence, and fill up the basin 
with boiling water, stirring well all the time. The " Maggi " 
may be had either plain, concentrated, or sUghtly fl.avoured 
with fine herbs. " French cookery," said Dumas, " owes its 
superiority over that of other nations only to the excellence of 
its bouillon." In Devonshire the peasantry make " Tay-kittle 
Brath " (or " sop "), its ingredients being one slice of bread cut 
in dice-shaped pieces, one " spit " (i.e., very small piece) of 
butter, one tablespoonful of milk, one pint of boiling water, 
with pepper and salt to taste; sometimes chopped leeks being 
added, when it is called " licky Brath." " I allays likes," says 
a Devon peasant, " tu put a vew sj)its ov butter 'pon the tap ov 
a rice pudden ; et kep'th'n vrom burning." A West Devon 
farmer was invited to dinner, together with one or two other 
tenants, by his landlord, who noticed that Mr. Tibbs did not ^at 
his soup (vermiceUi), but stirred it backwards and forwards with 
the spoon, whilst a look of disgust overspread his face. The 
host, addressing him, said, " I fear you do not care for your soup, 
Mr. Tibbs ; let John take your plate away." Mr. Tibbs smiled 
somewhat grimly, and replied, " Well, zir ! I likes a dish of 



BROTHS. 123 



licky-brath, or tay-kittle brath, ov a vrasty mornin' ; but, 
burnish it awl ! I niver ciide stomick maggity brath Uke this es." 

Beef gives the weakest Broth ; mutton Broth is a httle stronger; 
and chicken Broth strongest of all. " Broth can be made, cold 
in quality, without the application of heat, by digesting half a 
pound of finely-minced beef with a pint of cold water to which 
four drops of hydrochloric acid (the basis of table-salt) have been 
added. The product thus furnished is richer in soluble albumin 
than when heat is employed. By using rather more of the same 
acid, but no salt, heat can be applied up to 130° F., and by 
this method nearly 50 per cent of the meat can be obtained in 
the broth." (Yeo) " About 80 per cent of the meat-salts pass into 
the Broth, and all the chlorides, with most of the phosphates." 

Poached egg Soup (Thudicum) is a pure soup quickly procur- 
able, and a very desirable form of nourishment for persons 
suffering from an irritable, or sore state of the intestinal canal, 
as in typhoid, or enteric fever. Prepare some standard Broth, 
delicately flavoured ; then poach some eggs (contained in immer- 
sion-moulds) in boiling water ; trim them, and transfer them 
to the tureen, and pour the Broth over them. Dice of toast 
may be added if approved. 

To prepare an instantaneous Broth, or Bouillon a la minute, as for 
cases of urgent illness (the cost being then a secondary considera- 
tion), cut up one pound of very lean gravy beef, and half a 
boned chicken ; pound these well, and put into a stewpan, with 
ten grains of salt ; pour over the same three pints of water, and 
heat to the boil, while stirring ; as soon as the boiling has com- 
menced, add shredded carrots, turnips, onions, leeks, and celery ; 
boil for twenty minutes, and pass it throua;h a cloth. In this 
way the bones are omitted, fat is excluded, the meat is much 
subdivided, and perfectly exhausted of its juices, whilst the time 
of boiling is confined to twenty minutes. The saucepan must 
be kept covered during this boiling, else the adage may become 
unpleasantly verified — " He who boils his pot with chips makes 
his Broth smell of smoke." Chicken Broth, for women, or 
children, " can be rendered emollient," says Dr. Thudicum, " by 
boiling in it some marsh-mallow root, and barley, sweetening 
it with Narbonne honey ; boil, skim, and filter." A remarkable 
Broth, or Soup is to be made from the cockroach, or blackbeetle, 
of kitchen familiarity, for proving beneficial against albuminuria, 
or what is known as Bright's disease of the kidneys. M. Dagin's 



124 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



recipe orders thus : " Pound your cockroaches in a mortar, 
put them in a sieve, and pour over them boiling water, or hot 
beef-stock ; this constitutes a dehcious, and nutritive plat, 
preferable to bisque." 

Plain Broths, and Soups may be poured over crusts {croutons) 
which have been prepared as follows for weakly persons needing 
fat, and bodily warmth, whilst the digestion is fair : " Remove 
the crusts from slices of stale loaves, cut into small dice, and then 
drop them into boiling butter ; shake very gently, but thoroughly, 
till of a light golden brown ; when done, which will be in about 
a minute, take them up with a skimmer, and lay them in the 
mouth of the oven on brown paper to dry. The butter must 
nearly cover the bread, and must be boiling." 

Herrick mentions a quaint belief which persons formerly 
entertained — that it is lucky to carry a small piece of dry conse- 
crated bread in the pocket against terrors by day or night : — 

"If ye fear to be affrighted. 
If ye are by chance benighted. 
In your pocket for a trust 
Carry nothing but a crust : 
For, that holy piece of bread 
Charms the danger, and the dread." 

BUN. 

The ordinary sweet Bun was originally " Bugne," a sort of 
fritter, a kind of bread made with sugar in it, and baked in cakes, 
generally round. The first mention of Buns occurs in a comedy 
of 1676 ; and eighteenth-century literature makes many allusions 
to this new form of pastry. The name " bugne " signified 
" a lump," and {absit omen !) " a bunion." Nowadays this 
popular comestible as a makeshift form of food is spongy, and 
filling at the price. A plain penny Bun is to be considered more 
wholesome than the spiced varieties of Bath, and Chelsea. 
Specially taxing to digestion is the British Museum Bun. In 
Devon, large, satisfying Buns, made yellow with saffron, are 
known as " stodgers," or " busters." Mr. Tom Ward, a baker 
at Tiverton, used some years ago to manufacture a batch of these 
Buns, very big, which he sold at one penny each ; children, on 
going into his shop, would invariably say, " Plaize I wants a 
penny stodger " ; or others would ask for " a penny buster." 
Bath Buns date back to Roman times as to both composition, 
and shape, the latter being that of the classic " placenta." 



BUN 125 

Formerly iu England the famous Chelsea Bun house, at the 
comer of Jews' Row, (now Pimlico Road), was kept by a Mrs. 
Hands. So many persons were in the habit of flooldng thither 
on a Good Friday for eating " hot cross Buns," that on one 
occasion fifty thousand assembled there, and two hundred and 
fifty pounds were taken in the day for these Buns only. The 
Royal Family, and many of the aristocracy used to frequent 
this house in the mornings ; and Queen Charlotte even presented 
Mrs. Hands with a silver half-gallon mug containing five guineas. 
Sir Charles PhilHps, writing a few years before the destruction 
of the Chelsea Bun house, after admitting that for thirty years 
he never passed the house without filling his pockets, goes on 
to say : " These Buns have afforded a competency, and even 
wealth, to four generations of the same family ; and it is singular 
about the Buns that their delicate flavour, lightness, and richness, 
have never been successfully imitated." Even as late as in 
1839 twenty-four thousand Buns were sold there on a Good 
Friday alone. In many households at the present time a Good 
Friday Bun is superstitiously kept for ensuring a healthy, and 
prosperous time until another such Bun comes to be made in 
the following year. Moreover, the crossed Bun is beheved to 
protect the house from fire, whilst serving to cure diarrhoea, 
as well as all manner of other ailments, in men, and cattle. When 
used as a remedy the Bun is grated into a warm drink, or a mash, 
and given at night. A special virtue of this Bun, as the allegation 
goes, is that it will not grow mouldy like ordinary bread. Loaves 
of consecrated bread, each marked with a cross, were found at 
Herculaneum, showing that the hot cross Buns of our day had 
really a Pagan origin. The Romans called them " quadra." 
Earlier still, cakes dedicated by the Jewish women to Astarte, 
Queen of Heaven (afterwards the Roman Diana), were marked 
with a cross, which was the symbol of the goddess ; or with 
horns, in allusion to the crescent moon. " In April, 1902 " 
{Pall Mail Gazette), " a baker in a large way of business confessed 
to making a free use of the cheapest sherry in his manufacture 
of Good Friday Buns, also intermixing therein spices of 
various sorts, and small currants ; but the compound proved 
abominably indigestible, and the idea of thus eating the Cross 
seemed httle short of barbaric." 

In South Africa, at the Cape, is compounded the delicious, and 
wholesome Grape Bun, " Moss Bolletje (bun)," moss being the juice 



126 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of the grape in its early stages of fermentation. This Bun is of excel- 
lent service against atrophy, and the wasting eSects of consump- 
tive disease. During the wine-making season freshly-fermented 
grape-juice is commonly used instead of yeast by the country- 
folk at Stellenbosch, French Hoek, etc, and very nice Buns are 
prepared therewith. Or, if grapes cannot be had, then raisins 
are taken, and put in a jar which is previously seasoned by 
having had fermenting grapes, or raisins, within it ; the jar is 
not washed with water when about to be used, but generally 
dried in the sun, and kept closely covered from dust, being only 
employed for making the " moss " therein, so as to ensure its 
fermenting in a given time when thus prepared in the seasoned 
jar, or calabash. Again, for these Grape Buns the following 
is another old Dutch recipe : " A good batch " : Take two 
pounds of raisins, sixteen pounds of flour,, three and a half 
pounds of sugar, eight eggs, one and a half pounds of butter, 
one pound of fat, two tablespoonfuls of aniseed, two grated 
nutmegs, one tablespoonful of finely-powdered cinnamon ; 
cut the raisins, or mince them, put them into a jar, or calabash, 
with twelve cupfuls of lukewarm water, on the stove, or in the 
warmest part of your kitchen for twenty-four hours, till they 
ferment ; have ready the flour, in which, after it is well mixed 
with the sugar, spices, etc., make a hole, and strain into it the 
fermented juice of the raisins ; sprinkle some flour over the 
top, and set to rise for some hours in a warm place ; then melt 
the butter and fat, warm the milk, whisk the eight eggs (yolks 
and whites separately), mix the whole well together into a stiff 
dough, and knead with the hand for quite three-quarters of an 
hour ; let it stand overnight to rise ; in the morning roll into 
Buns ; set in buttered pans in a warm place ; let them rise for 
half-an-hour ; brush with the yolk of an egg, and some milk, and 
sugar ; bake for half-an-hour in an oven heated as for bread. 

BUTTER. 

As everyone knows. Butter is the fatty portion of new milk. 
The name is probably derived from the Greek word " Bous," 
a cow. Butter contains 80 per cent of fat, and therefore is 
capital food for supplying bodily warmth through its combustion 
in the system. It can be taken in large quantities if well mixed 
with starchy food, such as mashed potato ; though, when made 



BUTTER. 127 

hot, Butter develops butyric acid, wliich provokes indigestion 
■with many persons. Butter, after separation from the milk 
by churning, and leaving the butter-milk behind, yet retains 
a small percentage of the casein, or curd, with some water, and 
a certain amount of mineral matters ; whilst this water includes 
a httle lactic acid (derived from the milk-sugar), and traces of 
other constituents. By reason of the residual casein, and the 
water. Butter soon turns rancid, unless melted, and boiled 
down until the water is driven ofE ; if then strained through 
muslin, so as to remove the flakes of casein, it will, when cool, 
in a corked bottle, keep almost indefinitely. 

The most striking chemical characteristic of Butter-fat is its 
richness in those fatty acids (butyric, caproic, capric, and 
capiyUc) which are soluble in water, so that the Butter-fat 
approximates, by its olein, closely to the fat of the human body. 
As a matter of fact, Butter is the most easily digested of fatty 
foods, and has a magnificent record on this score, no less than 
98 per cent of it being assimilated by the body ; thus going to 
prove that a meal of bread, fresh Butter, and sound new cheese, 
with lettuce, young watercress, or some such light vegetable 
addition, is about the most wholesome, and nutritious fare which 
a man can choose. Freshly-made dairy Butter can be taken 
freely, whilst uncooked, against chronic constipation with 
marked success, especially by elderly persons, or by thin persons 
of fairly active habits. Also against obstructive appendicitis, 
which has of late become so seriously common, fresh Butter 
(if otherwise suiting the digestion) will assist capitally to lubricate 
the affected portion of intestine, and to pass on crude, offending 
impediments, such as hardened excrement, or tough portions 
of meat, vegetable fibre, seeds, and the Hke. The human 
intestine (larger bowels) contains an enormous quantity of 
bacteria (most numerous herein), this bacterial flora constituting 
a third part of the human excrement. Now, so long as the 
microbes remain within the intestine very few of them get into 
the general circulation of the blood, or humours, whilst with 
these few the organism is able to cope. But stagnation of the 
intestinal excrement within its walls increases the amount of 
harmful phenol and indol, which are products of this intestinal 
flora of bacterial microbes, and which then become mischievously 
absorbed by the intestinal walls ; they pass on into the general 
circulation, and give rise to symptoms of a more or less serious 



128 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

nature. For which reason the salutary 6fEects wrought by good 
Butter, and similar animal fats, in oiling the intestinal machinery 
for its better, and easier working^ is made manifest. 

Thomas Parr, the " olde, olde, very olde man," who hved to 
the authenticated age of one hundred and fifty-two years, in 
Shropshire, and then died through a change of foods when 
invited to stay with the Earl of Arundel (in 1635), has been des- 
cribed respecting his methods for longevity^ by John Taylor, the 
Water Poet, in lines written a month before Parr's death : — 

" He waa of old Psrthagoras' opinion 
That green cheese is most wholesome with an onion : 
His physio was good butter, which the soil 
Of Salop yields, more sweet than candy oU ; 
And garlick he esteemed above the rate 
Of Venice treacle, or best mithridate. 
Coarse *mesUn, bread ; and for his daily swig 
Milk, butter-milk, and water, whey, and whig : 
Sometimes metheglin, and by fortune happy 
He sometimes sipped a cup of ale most nappy. 
He entertained no gout ; no ache he felt ; 
The air was good, and temperate where he dwelt." 

Butter-makers have recently learnt to regard as friends those 
special microbes, without the presence of which the cream does 
not become sour. All good Butter is churned from cream which 
has been allowed to stand for this purpose a certain number of 
hours, partly because soured cream yields more butter than fresh 
cream, but chiefly because the flavour of the Butter is improved 
in this way. It is now believed that better flavours can be pro- 
duced by certain bacteria over those of others, and therefore these 
higher-class bacteria are purposely put into cultivation. Also the 
quality of Butter depends intimately on the breed of cows from 
which the milk is got, as well as on the nature of their food ; 
and its degree of excellence becomes determined by the place 
where it is grown, and the mode of its preparation. This influence 
of the food was expressed by the rustic writers of Rome, in the 
saying, " Pahuli sapor apparet in laote " — •" By the milk we 
discover what has been the cow's fodder." Of the prejudicial 
flavours imparted to milk by food containing wild plants of 
the garlic tribe, and other such vegetables as generate sulphuretted 
hydrogen through their essential oils, only small portions are 

* Meslin bread, or Mashlum, was made of a mixture of several kinds 
of flour. 



BUTTER. 129 



retained by the Butter. Cabbages, and turnips are more subject 
to this imputation, but their unwelcome odours can be made to 
volatilize. 

The most useful varieties of Butter next to the English are 
Irish, Dutch, Holstein, Swiss, ' Norman, and that from the 
Channel Islands. Butter was first used as a food by the Hebrews. 
The early Greeks and Eomans employed it as a medicine, or 
ointment. Perfumed Butter has been a recent fad in the 
refined ! homes of New York. Pats of Butter are wrapped 
in muslin, and laid in glass dishes on beds of roses, violets, and 
carnations, with other blossoms heaped over them, so that the 
Butter becomes impregnated with the various flower odours. 
The Mad Hatter, " Alice in Wonderland," took his watch out of 
his pocket on being asked by Alice what day of the month it 
was. " Two days wrong ! " sighed the Hatter ; " I told you 
Batter wouldn't suit the works." " But it was the best Butter," 
meekly rephed the March Hare. 

Again, thus sang the " aged, aged man in a song of his own- 
invention " : — 

" I sometimes dig for buttered rolls, 
Or .set limed twigs for crabs. 
I sometimes search the grassy knolls 

For wheels of hansom cabs. 
And that's the way (he gave a wink) 

By which I get my wealth ; 
And very gladly will I drink 
Your honour's noble health." 

What is called by the cook " clarified " Butter, which is merely 
melted into a yellow, clear, oily hquid, such as is served at some 
tables with asparagus, will, more often than not, ferment in the 
stomach, especially if animal food be eaten therewith so as to 
stimulate a flow of acid gastric juice. Among the Jews an 
established rule obtains forbidding Butter to be eaten until 
some considerable time after a meal of animal food. Never- 
theless, in the grim kitchen of old Fagin, the Jew, buttered toast 
was greedily demanded by Noah Claypole at breakfast as part 
price for playing the spy upon Nancy {Oliver Twist, by Charles 
Dickens, 1838). It was Ebenezer Elliott, the Corn-law Rhymer, 
of Sheffield (1831)— (" a voice" said Carlyle "from the deep 
Cyclopean forges ; ")— who in his early days " had to rock the 
cradle, and stir the melted butter," with the result that " the 
poetry was spoilt, and the melted butter burnt." 

9 



130 MHALS MEDICINAL. 

Bread-and-Butter is the reputed food of adolescence. " She's 
but a bread-and-butter Miss." Anthony TroUope, in Barckester 
Towers, talks of the " wishy-washy bread and butter period of 
life." " Crawling at your feet," said the Gnat to Alice IThrough 
the Looking Glass), " you may observe a Bread and Butter Fly ; 
its wings are thin slices of bread and butter, its body is crust, 
and its head is a lump of sugar ; it lives on weak tea, with cream 
in it."— 

" The fav'rite child that just beguis to prattle, 
And throws away his silver bells, and rattle, i 
Is very humoursome, and makes great clutter ! 
Unless appeased with frequent bread and butter." 

A curious piece of folk-lore finds credence in South Maryland. 
It is gravely stated there, that if the mother of twin children will 
spread with Butter a piece of bread for a boy, or girl suffering 
from whooping cough, the little one, on eating this specially 
endowed food, will be speedily cured. Two sons of the State 
Governor's wife are twins, and recently various anxious mothers 
have been appealing to the lady of the Executive Mansion, 
both in season and out of season, for her good offices in this 
direction. No social function is too important for the applicants 
to forego their importunities. The doorkeeper is continually 
bringing in solicitations foi pieces of bread buttered by the said 
lady. She is too kind-hearted to refuse ; so the Governor's 
wife, after the fashion of Charlotte in Thackeray's version of 
the Sorrows of Werther : — 

" Like a well-conducted person 
Goes on cutting bread and butter." 

Not a few invahds of sensitive digestion find they cannot eat 
ordinary shop Butter without subsequent disturbance of the liver ; 
and the probable reason is that microbes have become developed 
therein, or their mischievous toxins aie engendered ; whereas 
the same delicate persons can eat a fair quantity of the day's 
dairy Butter, absohitely fresh, without incurring a disturbed 
digestion some eight or ten hours afterwards. 

Professor Koch, of Berlin, has sagaciously told people, as a 
point worthy of thoughtful notice, that whilst being so nervous 
about milk, they forget Butter, in which bacilli (of fever, con- 
sumption, and other diseases) are equally likely to be nurtured. 
Nevertheless, so commonly given to the consumption of bread and 



CABBAGE. 131 



butter are the children of the English working-man, that it has 
been well said this refection goes on daily upon ten thousand 
London doorsteps. A pithy old Enghsh proverb puts it : 
" When the cook and the maid fall out, we shall know what has 
become of the butter ! " It was Charles Lamb who pronounced 
about Munden, the Actor : " His gusto antiquates, and ennobles 
what it touches ; his pots and his ladles are as grand and primal 
as the seething pots and hooks, seen in old prophetic vision. A 
tub of butter contemplated by him amounts to a Platonic idea. 
He understands a leg of mutton in its quiddity. He stands 
wondering amid the commonplace materials of life, like primeval 
man with the sun, and stars about him." 

CABBAGE. 

" The time has come," as said the Walrus (Alice and the Looking 
Cflass) : — 

" To talk of many things ; 
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax ; of Cabbages, and kings." 

Because apt to ferment, the whole tribe of Cabbages, or 
Coleworts, is named botanically Brassicaceoe, " apo tou brassein." 
They all contain much nitrogen, or vegetable albumin, with a 
considerable quantity of sulphur, which latter constituent makes 
them admirably antiseptic ; nevertheless, they tend strongly 
to putrefaction, and when undergoing this process they give 
ofE very ofEensive odours. The white Cabbage is most putrescible, 
the red most emollient, and pectoral. All the Coleworts are 
called " Crambe," from krambos, dry, because they dispel 
drunkenness. A Greek proverb said, " Dis crambee ihanatos," 
signifying the phrase, " Death by twice Cabbage " ; " the single 
portion is excellent, the double dish is death ;" or, as the Latin 
maxim of Juvenal renders it, " Occidit miseros bis repetita." 
Most probably the real intention of these warnings was, as old 
Fuller thought, " Crambe bis cocta." " Colewort twice sodden "• 
(meaning likewise " stale news ") conveys the fact that " Crambe 
is a kind of Cabbage which, with vinegar, being raw, is good, 
boiled better, but twice boiled, noysome to the palate, and 
nauseous to the stomach." Athenian doctors prescribed cabbage 
for young nursing mothers who wished to see their babes grow 
lusty, and strong. " Honest old Cato," wrote Culpeper, (1650), 



132 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

" used no other |)hysick than the Cabbage." " Gate, the 
Censor, with his strong sense, and his hard-headedness, may 
probably be taken as the representative of the best household 
mediciner known to the Romans in their brave days of old. His 
system of therapeutics was as simple as that of Sangrado, only 
he used Cabbage instead of water. This homely vegetable was 
to Cato a veritable panacea ; given internally, or apphed 
externally, it was ' ad omnes res salubris.' It cured constipation, 
and dysentery, headache, and lumbago ; retention, and incon- 
tinence of urine ; pains in the liver, and afEections of the heart, 
colic, toothache, gout, and deafness, insomnia, ophthalmia, 
gangrene, abscesses, and nasal polypi. It was as efficacious in 
pulmonary consumption as the modern Lacnanthes, as potent 
in cancer as violet leaves ; in short, Cato might have anticipated 
for the Cabbage a famous epitaph, transcribing it as ' Nihil 
tetigit quod non curavit.' " But the secret of his Cabbage cure 
lay in the mode of its administration, about which he made no 
mystery. For instance, " if one was afflicted with cohc, take 
a Cabbage, and, after letting it simmer well in boiling water, 
strain thoroughly ; season with salt, cumin seed, oil, and wheat- 
flour ; then put it on the fire again, and let it simmer for a time, 
after which take it ofE to cool. Whilst drinking this potion 
every morning, during the course of treatment, let your principal 
food be Cabbage.' In surgery, likewise. Cabbage was esteemed 
by Cato as " the sovran' st thing on earth for bruises, ulcers, 
abscesses, fistulae, and dislocations." " An injection of Cabbage- 
water mixed with wine restored hearing to the deaf ; whilst a 
strong decoction of Cabbage, if inhaled at intervals throughout 
three days, made polypi fall out of the nose, and destroyed the 
roots of the disease." It should be said that other writers of 
repute have regarded this vegetable with much less favour. 
Burton, (Anatomy of Melancholy), in the chapter entitled " Bad 
diet a cause of melancholy," disallows for eating, among other 
herbs, especially Cabbage. " It causeth troublesome dreams, and 
sends up black vapours to the brain." Galen, too, of all herbs 
condemns Cabbage. '^ Animce gravitatem facit" — "it brings 
heaviness to the soul." And, as Charles Lamb slyly adds when 
writing on the " Melancholy of Tailors " : " It is well known that 
this vegetable, Cabbage, has from the earliest periods which we 
can discover constituted almost the sole food of this extraordinary 
race of people." John Evelyn (1695), long after Cato, whilst 



CABBAGE. 133 



praising the Cabbage for many curative virtues, added : " It 
must be confessed this vegetable is greatly to be accused for 
lying undigested in the stomach, and provoking eructations." 
And Culpeper told a like tale respecting the men, and women 
of Cato's time : " I know not what metall their bodies were 
made of ; this I am sure : Cabbages are extremely windy, 
whether you take them as meat, or as medicine ! yea, as windy 
meat as can be eaten, unless you eat bagpipes, or bellows." 
Dean Eamsay tells about a Scotch farmer who at a tenants' 
dinner was asked by a Duchess to take Cabbage, and excused 
himself with the delicate insinuation, " Disna' your grace find 
it a verra windy vegetable ? " Partridge and Cabbage suit the 
patrician table, whilst bacon and Cabbage better please the 
taste, and the requirements of the man in the street. 

When fresh and young, and properly cooked, Cabbages are 
of excellent service against scrofula, their innate sulphur being 
a very salutary constituent. For a swollen face, to keep applied 
thereto a Cabbage leaf, first made quite hot at the fire, will afEord 
reUef (the same being likewise an Irish remedy for a sore throat), 
emolhent warmth being thus secured, together with certain 
antiseptic exhalations from the steamy leaf. Also, if laid over 
a bhstered surface, a large leaf of common white Cabbage, 
gently bruised, will promote a free discharge from the denuded 
skin ; similarly, too, when placed next the skin in dropsy of 
the ankles. 

Fermented white Cabbage was a well-known dish of the old 
Romans ; and one of our early rustic authors advised to eat a 
plateful of this sour dish for dessert, " which would so quickly 
digest the dinner just swallowed that another such meal might 
be relished immediately afterwards, and eaten with impunity." 
For the production of this so-caUed Sauer-kraut the white 
Cabbage is shredded, mixed with salt in fine powder sufficient 
to produce a good pickle, then placed in a barrel, or other such 
vessel, in a compressed state, and allowed to undergo the lactic 
acid, or sour milk fermentation, by which the sugar becomes 
transformed into lactic acid, whilst giving to the product its name 
of " Sour Cabbage." In the Sauer-kraut of Germany the 
Cabbages are similarly allowed to ferment, so that by bacterial 
development the vegetable starch becomes converted into sugar, 
and then into vinegar. When prepared for cooking, Sauer-kraut 
has to be washed, and thus relieved of its excess of acid ; it is 



134 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

next stewed with butter, or some other wholesome, and palatable 
fat, and some standard broth, or stock, and when it is nearly- 
done a little good wine is generally added. " The acme of all 
accompaniments " (says Dr. Thudicum), " not even excepting 
roast pheasant, is roast partridge with Saner-kraut." The 
juice of red Cabbage, made with sugar into a syrup, but excluding 
all condiments, is of excellent remedial service in bronchial 
asthma, and for chronic coughs. Pliny commended the juice 
of a raw Cabbage, together with a little honey, for sore and 
inflamed eyes, when moist and weeping, but not when dry, and 
dull. For the scrofulous, mattery eye-inflammation of infants, 
after the eyes have been cleansed thoroughly every half-hour 
with warm water, their sockets should then be packed repeatedly 
with fresh young Cabbage-leaves cleaned, and bruised to a soft 
pulp. The flow of mattery pus will be increased for the first 
few days, but presently a cure will become effected. To 
strengthen weak eyes a poultice is employed in Hampshire, 
and applied cold, being made of bread-crusty and garden snails 
without the shells. " Cabbages in general," as Evelyn supposed, 
" are thought to allay fumes, and prevent intoxication ; but 
some will have them noxious to the sight ; whilst others impute 
this harm to the Cauliflower, about which questjon the learned 
are not agreed." Oliver Wendell Holmes, when growing old 
(in 1888), wrote : " My eyes are getting dreadfully dim : one 
of them has, I fear, though I don't quite know, a cataract in the 
kitten state of development." 

In 1772, on Septuagesima Sunday, " a printed paper was 
handed by a footman in mourning to each grande dame on her 
leaving the Church of St. Sulpice, Paris, which paper contained 
a recipe for stewing red Cabbage, this proceeding being carried 
out in accordance with a provision of the will of the Duchesse 
d'Orleans, who had died on the previous day." It appeared 
that Louis the Fifteenth was so passionately fond of this dish 
that Madame de Pompadour, when she wished to specially please 
him, prepared it with her own hands. Sydney Smith (1840), 
in a letter from Green Street, London, said : " I have heard 
from Mrs. Grote, who is very well, and amusing herself with 
Horticulture, and Democracy, — the most approved methods 
of growing Cabbages, and destroying Kings." Thomas Carlyle, 
comparing by parable the Cabbage (which of all plants grows 
most quickly to completion) with the majestic Oak (which takes 



CAKES. 135 

years to become fully grown), has conveyed the lesson that those 
animate beings which are the slowest in their gradual progress 
to maturity, are found when at length they reach perfection, to 
have become the most richly endowed. 

The word Cabbage means literally the " firm head," or " ball," 
formed by the compact leaves turning closely over each other 
into a globular form ; from which circumstance tailors, who 
formerly worked at the private houses of their customers, were 
said to " cabbage " pieces of cloth rolled up tightly into a handy 
ball, instead of the list, and shreds which they might more fairly 
consider their due. 

Sea Cabbage — " Sea Colewort," or " Kale "—Cranibe maritima, 
(not the Brassica oleracea), is remarkable as being a soda plant ; 
this mineral, or earth-salt, prevailing over the potash in its ash, 
and making it unsuitable for gouty persons. Brussel sprouts, 
which are dwarf Cabbages, go by the name in Northamptonshire 
of Bujfdgreens. 

CAKES. 

In the making of Cakes, which are capital food for growing 
children, but should be plainer for the sick, good sweet butter, 
and fresh eggs are absolutely necessary ; what is known as 
" cooking butter," which is a little rancid, should never be used, 
as is often done, this being a matter of false, and bad economy. 
Again, a dainty worker is needed to mix the ingredients for 
Cakes, and care should be taken that the baking-tin is never 
oiled with grease at all rancid : a very little sweet butter, or 
best oUve oil should be employed. The dark-coloured fruit 
Cakes should be rather prohibited for invalids, and by persons 
of weak digestive powers, because of the dried fruits used in 
making such Cakes, also because they are often compact, close- 
grained, doughy, and not light. No less a saintly man than 
Columba learnt his alphabet by the process of eating Cakes 
which had the difEerent letters stamped on them. At Biddenden, 
in Kent, some curious Cakes impressed with the print of two 
women joined together, are distributed, together with bread and 
cheese, to the poor on Easter Sunday. The story goes that two 
ladies were actually born there in 1100 joined together at the 
thighs, and shoulders, and who lived this double life for thirty 
years. 



136 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

It was told disparagingly of Marie Antoinette that on hearing 
the poor people in Paris could not afford to buy bread, she 
heartlessly replied, " Then let them buy Cake." But Hall Caine 
has lately shown that what she really said was, " Let them buy 
honaches," which were really small round Cakes made of the 
cheapest, and coarsest meal, not wheaten at all ; so that Marie 
Antoinette knew what she was talking about, and was positively 
suggesting a more attainable, because cheaper, article of suste- 
nance. The most renowned of Cakes in France is the Gateau des 
Rots, or " Cake of the Three Kings," in which a bean is concealed. 
On the Day of Epiphany friends and families assemble to " draw 
the Kings," that is to say, to draw a piece of a Cake first divided 
into as many parts as the number of persons present ; and he, 
or she, who gets the concealed bean is deemed to be in luck 
throughout the ensuing year. In some places the Cake is cut 
into pieces numerous enough to leave one in excess of the number 
of drawers ; this piece is called the " fart du bon Dieu," and is 
given to the first poor mendicant, or wayfarer. 

Honey Cake, " Lecker kuchen " (licker =tasty, toothsome), 
is probably the oldest known Cake in the world, being described 
in the works of the ancient Roman rustic writers. " It should 
be preserved," says Dr. Thudicum, " in its purity of perfection, 
and eaten annually by all who love the historical evolution of 
human culture." This is a Cake made of flour and honey, 
somewhat fermented, and flavoured with various ingredients. 
It is of admirable use against chronic constipation. Strange 
to relate, in some cookery books, both of England, and of 
Germany, neither honey, nor honey Cake, is as much as men- 
tioned. A Brioche is a French national rich Cake of superlative 
quaUty, to be eaten with hot coffee at breakfast. Another 
excellent Cake for coffee, or tea, goes in Germany by the name of 
"Bavarian Wasps' Nests." Take a pound and a half of flour, 
sift it into a large pan, or bowl ; add six eggs, half a pound of 
melted butter (which must not be hot), one pint of creain, or 
rich milk, one ounce and a half of yeast dissolved in the latter, 
and a saltspponful of salt ; work all this together until it has 
become a pretty firm, blistering dough, ■ and let it rise ; then 
remove it to a floured baking board, and roll out the dough into 
a thin sheet ; brush it over with melted butter, and sprinkle 
it thickly with well-picked and washed currants, almonds blanched 
and minced, powdered cinnamon, and sugar ; then cut the 



CAKES. 137 

dough, into strips of three fingers width, roll up these strips from 
one end to the other, and place the rolls on end in a buttered, 
high-rimmed form ; cover it up with a warm cloth, and let it 
rise again ; bake in a moderately hot oven for three-quarters 
of an hour. It takes a large form to bake the present quantity. 
This is a Cake of so rich a quality that the lines of good George 
Herbert, the Divine (1630), in The Church will not be out of 
place as associated therewith : — 

" What though some have a fraught 
Of cloves and nutmegs, and in cinnamon fail ? 

To be in both worlds full 
[s more than God was, who was hungry here. 
Would'st thoii his laws of fasting disannul ? 

Enact good cheer ? 
Lay out thy joy, yet hope to save it V 
Wmild'st thou both eat thy cake, and have it ? 

In Jane Austen's Emma (1816), old Mr. Woodhouse, the 
Malade Imaginaire, was sadly put out because of the rich 
wedding Cake, encrusted with sugar, and surmounted with 
luscious almond paste, finding high favour at, and after, the 
wedding of Miss Taylor to Mr. Weston. " He earnestly tried 
to dissuade them from having any wedding Cake at all ; and 
when that proved vain, he as earnestly tried to prevent anyone's 
eating it. He had been at the pains of consulting Mr. Perry, 
the Apothecary, on the subject ; who, when applied to, could 
not but acknowledge (though it seeraed rather against the bias 
of his inclination) that wedding Cake might certainly disagree 
with many, perhaps with most people, unless taken moderately." 
There was, nevertheless, a strange rumour in Highbury that all 
the little Perrys had been seen with a sHce of Mrs. Weston's 
wedding Cake in their hands, but Mr. Woodhouse would never 
believe it. 

Calverley, when at the school of a Doctor Crabb, with his 
playmate Tommy, had the following experience (Gemini el 
Virgo) : — 

" We did much as we chose to do ; 

We'd never heard of Mrs. Grundy. 
.^U the theology we knew 

Was that we might'nt play on Sunday ; 
And all the general truths, — 'that cakes 

Were to be bought at four a penny. 
And that excruciating aches 

Resulted if we ate too many." 



138 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Concerning the Poet Crabbe (1818), a lady told Hallam that 
" Mr. Crabbe was very good Cake, only there was such a thick 
layer of sugar to be cut through before you could get at it." 
His manner to women was of the kind called " philandering," 
and there is nothing a woman hates more. 

In the days of our grandmothers the dough of a home-made 
Cake was sent sometimes to the bakehouse (instead of heating 
the domestic oven), being wrapped in a blanket, and pricked 
on the soft dough with the letters of the owner's name ; and 
hence originated the familiar nursery rhyme : — 

" Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker's man ! 
So I do, master, as fast as I can. 
Pat it and prick it, and mark it with C, 
Then it will serve for Charley and me." 

" Pistoris puer, o dulcem mibi tunde farinam, 
Imo etiam rapida res erit acta manu. 
Punge decenter aou, tituloque inscribe magistri. 
Sic mihi, sic Carolo serviet ilia meo." 

For producing light, sweet, and wholesome Cakes a capital 
baking-powder is to be made from grape cream of tartar, as 
manufactured in America, and which is said to surpass all others. 

CAPER. 

The Caper [Cafparis), with which we 'are familiar, as pickled, 
and used in sauce with boiled mutton at table, is a product of 
countries which border the Mediterranean ; the unopened buds 
being used for condimentary purposes. Sometimes instead of this 
(Capparis spinosa), those of the wild Caper {Euphorbia laihyris) 
or Caper Spurge, are substituted, being used while unripe. Canton 
used to be famous for its capers, but the English market has cut 
them out. At one time scented Capers figured largely in the 
list of every Italian warehouseman, and were an indispensable 
item in every housekeeper's list of domestic stores. But they 
are not now nearly so much used as formerly, when brought from 
Italy, or Toulon, dried, and pickled in salt or vinegar. They 
then had an established reputation for curing diseases of the 
spleen, whilst externally the pickle of capers was applied against 
the left side of the belly below the ribs, on linen cloths, or 
sponges, for reducing enlargements of the same organ. In 
Germany, Capers are chopped up with anchovies, and spice. 



CARAWAY SEEDS. 139 

and are then spread as a paste on rusks, or toast. Our 
sauces, as that of Capers, were first used in the place of salt, 
— in Italian scdza, — which the French transformed into savlza, 
and which ultimately became sauce. 

CAPSICUM. 

(Cayknnk, See Peppku.) 

CARAWAY SEEDS. 

The well-known aromatic Caraway Seeds of our household 
cakes, and of the confectioner's sugared comfits, depend for their 
cordial and comforting properties, (especially when bruised) on 
an essential oil which is fragrant, carminative, and spicy. Though 
originally the herb (Carum carui) inhabited Caria, a province of 
Asia Minor, it is now cultivated for commerce in England, par- 
ticularly about Kent and Essex. What are known as Caraway 
Seeds are in reality the small dried fruit taken from the umbels. 
When rubbed in a mortar they give ofE an agreeable, strong- 
smelhng sort of scent. Chemically, their volatile oil consists of 
" carvol," and a hydro-carbon^" carvene," which is a " camphor." 
In Germany the peasants flavour their cheese, soups, and house- 
hold bread with Caraway Seeds. Also in Germany, as well as in 
Russia, a favourite liqueur, Kummel, is prepared from the 
Caraway, whilst the seeds are given for hysterical affections, 
being finely powdered, and mixed with ginger and salt for being 
spread with butter on bread. The " powdered seed put into a 
poultice taketh away blacke and blew spots of blows, and bruises." 
The oil, or seeds of Caraway do sharpen vision, and promote 
the secretion of breast-milk. Therefore dim-sighted men, and 
nursing mothers, may rejoice in eating seed-cake. This was 
formerly a standing institution at the feasts given by farmers 
to their labourers at the end of wheat sowing. Roasted apples 
are served at table in Trinity College, Cambridge, together with 
a small saucerful of Caraway seed. 

For the flatulent gripings of infants a good Caraway julep may 
be made by infusing half an ounce of the bruised seeds for six 
hours in half a pint of cold water, covered over ; then pour off 
the liquor, strained through muslin, and sweeten it to taste ; 
from one to three teaspoonfuls may be given to a baby for a dose. 
As a draught for flatulent colic in the adult, twenty grains of the 



140 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

powdered seeds may be taken, with a lump of sugar, in a wine- 
glassful of hot water. But narcotic effects have been known 
to follow the chewing of Caraway Seeds in excess, such as two 
or three ounces at a time. In the north of England an oaten 
cake made with treacle, and Caraway Seeds, is commonly eaten 
at breakfast. A poultice of crushed Caraway Seeds steeped in 
hot water to the consistence of a pulp, and applied within muslin 
around a sprained joint, will afford speedy relief. The young 
roots of Caraway plants as cultivated in Kent, and Essex, may 
be sent to, table like parsnips ; they warm and stimulate, and 
strengthen a cold languid stomach. 

CARROT. 

The Garden Carrot {Daucus carota), an umbelliferous plant, is 
so common a vegetable with us all as not to need any descriptive 
preliminaries. The root contains an essential oil, which is 
fragrant, aromatic, and stimulating. Upon this much of the 
virtues depend. Carrots are also rich in sugar, both cane, and 
fruit, in kind, to the amount of nearly 10 per cent. Their juice 
when expressed affords " carotin," in red crystals, with pectin, 
albumin, and the volatile oil already mentioned. The chief 
virtues of the Carrot lie in the strong antiseptic qualities which 
it possesses, as preventive of putrescent changes either within 
the body, or when applied externally. The sugar of Carrots can 
be collected from their inspissated juice, and used at table, 
being excellent for the coughs of consumptive persons. At 
Vichy, where,_ derangements of the liver, and of the biliary 
digestion, are specially treated, Carrots in one form or another 
are served at every meal, whether in soup, or with meat, or as a 
vegetable dish, considerable efficacy for cures being attributed 
to them. 

For preparing Carrot juice, rub cleansed Carrots with a grater, 
and squeeze their juice through a clean cloth ; then boil it, with, 
or without sugar, skimming carefully the while. When it no 
longer froths take it ofi the fire, and let it cool. Then strain it 
through a cloth, and pour it into glasses. A teaspoonful thereof 
may be taken several times in the day for subduing a troublesome 
cough, or as a quieting nervine cordial. Confectioners often 
mix the pectin of Carrots, residing principally in their outer 
rind, with fruit jelly as a diluent. 



CARROT. 141 



But " the Carrot when boiled, or stewed, cannot be regarded," 
says Dr. Hutchison, " as at all a digestible form of food ; nor is 
it easily disposed of by the stomach ; five and a half ounces of 
the cooked root remain there for three hours and twenty 
minutes." The yellow core of the Carrot is the part which 
is difficult of digestion by some persons, not the outer red 
layer, the thickness of which is a test of the goodness of 
the root. 

For a Potage of Carrots (Creole), " Clean, and cut up fine, four 
very red Carrots, two large onions, one turnip, and two sticks of 
celery. Put these to fry with a piece of butter the size of an 
egg, and about a teaspoonful of sugar. Brown slightly, and 
pour in four or five teaspoonfuls of boihng water. Simmer for 
a quarter of an hour, and turn all into the soup kettle, with salt 
and pepper to taste, adding a bouquet of herbs, thyme, parsley, 
a few cloves, and a bay-leaf, tied together with thread. Pour 
in a quart of boiling water ; cover, and simmer gently for at 
least two hours : the vegetables must become perfectly soft. 
Mash through a sieve, and return to the fire, adding a pint of 
nriillr ; when boifing stir in a teaspoonful of flour that has been 
well blended in a little cold water, or milk. Let it boil a minute 
or two, and serve at once with croutons." 

Being boiled sufficiently in a little water, and mashed into a 
pulp. Carrots will sweeten, and heal a putrid indolent sore if 
apphed fresh from time to time. The Carrot poultice was 
first used by Salzer, for mitigating the pain, and correcting 
the stench of foul ulcers. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, when 
writing to Dr. W. Hunt, 1863, tells him how a man's heel 
which was severely wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg 
was treated : " Dr. Bigelow does nothing but keep the wound 
open, making the patient use for this purpose a little plug of 
Carrot, which is handy enough, and seems to agree very well 
with the wound." 

" The great Achilles, who had shown his zeal 
In healing wounds, died of a wounded heel. 
Accursed heel, that killed a hero stout, 
Oh ! had your mother known that you were out, 
Death had not entered at the trifling part, 
Which still defies the small Chirurgeon's art 
With corns, and bunions, (not the glorious John 
Who wrote the book we all have pondered on), 
Big tender bunions, bound in fleshy hose, 
To Pilgrim's Progress unrelenting foes." 



142 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

When Carrots are eaten as a vegetable, remarkably little of 
their sohd nutriment is so digested as to become absorbed into 
the system, but this passes ofE from the bowels as excrementitious 
waste, (to the extent of nearly 40 per cent of the vegetable taken), 
though without causing diarrhoea, or other intestinal disturbance. 
Dishes at table which contain Carrots, particularly in pur6e, are 
said to be " a la Crecy." A tea made from the Carrot plant, 
sliced root, and leafy top bruised, some of which tea is drunk 
each night and morning, proves of excellent use when a dis- 
position to gouty acids, and to gravel prevails. If cows are 
fed long on Carrots, they begin to pass bloody urine. In one 
thousand parts of the Carrot, there are ninety-five of sugar, and 
only three of starch. Recently M. Charrin kept some, rabbits 
fed on Carrots which had been sterilised of their microbes, 
whilst other rabbits were kept on Carrots still retaining their 
microbes from the soil. The former anima,ls soon died from 
corrupt products within their intestines ; but the latter rabbits 
contiQued to thrive. 

A Manchester physician has told recently of an alleged cure 
for consumption by the simple remedy of eating raw Carrot ; 
which method certainly seems to have proved itself well worth 
a trial. In the British Flora Medica, 1830, it is stated, " Margraf 
directs that the recent roots of Carrot should be cut, well washed, 
and beaten into a pulp, from which the juice is to be expressed 
through a sieve, and reduced by heating to the consistence of 
honey, in which state it may be used at table instead of sugar, 
and is well adapted for the consumptive coughs of young children ; 
also against worms." 

For dehcate persons, who find it best to dine in the middle of 
the day on plain foods, an excellent supper vegetable is a fair- 
sized Carrot boiled whole so as to retain its aromatic properties ; 
then spht into quarters, and warmed afresh for being served hot. 
It acts as a nervine sedative, whilst being cordial and restorative. 
A sense of mental invigoration will follow, and the digestion of 
this estimable root will be readily performed, without preventing 
the sleep. 

To make a pur6e of Carrots : take one pound of cleansed 
Carrots, peeled and washed, put them into cold water with 
a little salt, bring them to the boil, then strain and rinse 
them, and place them in the stewpan, with enough light stock to 
cover, adding a dust of castor sugar. Simmer the Carrots until 



CA UDLE. 143 



tender, then rub them into a paste with three plainly-boiled 
potatoes, mashing this through a hair sieve (adding a pat of 
butter, or a little cream, except for a person with disposition to 
bihousness), stir tiU boihng, then serve. 

The small purple flower which grows in the middle of the 
umbel crowning a full grown Carrot plant, has been found of 
benefit for mitigating epilepsy. 

CAUDLE. 

Practically Caudle, so called from the Latin " Ccdidus " hot, 
or the old French word " Chaudd," is a drink of warm ale made 
with groats, and given to the sick as a restorative support. It 
is more frequently composed of warm wine (or ale), mixed with 
bread, sugar, spices, and sometimes eggs ; being administered 
specially to a woman in childbed (though with doubtful wisdom), 
and to her congratulatory visitors. " Hark ye. Master HoUytop ! 
your wits are gone on wool-gathering : comfort yourself with a 
Caudle " (Sir Walter Scott's Abbot). For " tea Caudle, make 
a quart of strong green tea, and pour it out into a skillet (a long- 
handled metal pot), and set it over the fire ; then beat up the 
yolks of four eggs, and mix with them a pint of white wine, a 
grated nutmeg, and sugar to taste ; put all together ; stir it over 
the fire tiU it is very hot, then drink it in china dishes." — 
Compleat Housewife, 1736. 

When Harley (in the Man of Feeling, 1771) " came downstairs 
to set out for London, he found his aunt m the parlour with a tear 
on her cheek, and her caudle cup in her hand ; she knew enough 
of physic to prescribe against going abroad of a morning with 
an empty stomach : and she gave her blessing with the 
draught." 

For old-fashioned brown Caudle : stir two tablespoonfuls of 
oatmeal into a pint of water, and add the thin rind of a lemon, 
a blade of mace, and a tablespoonful of brown sugar. Let all 
boil together : then strain the liquid, and add a pint of mild ale. 
Warm it for use. A little grated ginger is often put into this 
Caudle. The old-fashioned Caudle-pot was of glazed Delft- 
ware, holding about a quart, and having a small curved spout 
which went into the mouth of the drinker. Such a pot (now 
much sought after by collectors) is to be seen among the 
treasures at Lilford Hall, Northants. 



144 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

CAVIARE. 

The salted roe of the Sturgeon, known as far back as in Shakes- 
peare's day (who spoke of it as ' Caviare,' but not appreciated 
by the multitude), has been humorously styled " salt blackberry 
jam." Some persons deem this commodity delicious, whilst 
others maintain it to be intolerably nasty. Its parent Sturgeon 
abounds on the southern coast of Eussia, being taken for its 
Caviare, chiefly at Astrachan. There are two kinds of the roe ; one 
of a hght-grey colour, and semi-liquid, called " fresh," of which 
the Germans are very fond, but which is httle known in England ; 
the other kind is of a darker hue, containing the eggs of the roe 
crushed, and strongly pressed together, so that much of the 
moisture has been squeezed away. Out of Russia, Caviare is 
a chaudfroid at table, being eaten cold on hot toast. In 
England it is served — quite as a mistake — at the end of dinner, 
when the appetites of the guests are already satisfied ; but in 
Russia and France it is more wisely regarded as a hors d'aeuvre, 
always appropriate at luncheon, and usually acceptable as a 
whet before dinner. Caviare is correctly a prelude to a repast, 
and a stimulus to the appetite. At the end of dinner it is 
simply useless, and even mischievous. It should be moderately 
seasoned with cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. The Russians 
are quite content to eat their Caviare on slices of bread and butter. 
It is served on a side-table as a prehminary rehsh to a meal. 
Taken medicinally, Caviare, by reason of its abundant fish oil, 
has been found to occasionally rescue a patient when in the last 
stages of diabetes ; for which disease fat is indeed a sheet anchor, 
because of its large sustaining powers, and because it never 
dietetically increases the formation of sugar in the Uver. 

Dr. Yeo has commended Caviare as a savoury for aged persons, 
who need some sort of condiment with their food, to promote 
digestion, and prevent flatulence. One of the best kinds in 
commerce is the Saxony variety, which is packed in linen, and 
is less salt than the others. There should be no smell to Caviare, 
though frequently an acid odour is discerned ; the best sort is 
neutral, but the poorer kinds usually give an acid reaction to 
litmus (test) paper, containing also traces of free ammonia, 
some hydrogen sulphide, and free fatty acids. Logan relates in 
Joyful Russia, 1897, " It was the fresh Caviare that I revelled in, 
which was spread on bread or toast, at the Lakuska, or Russian 



CELERY. 145 



snack lunclieon, and was in either case laid on thick, J>eing 
sprinkled over with chopped onion, and lemon." A,t St. 
Petersburg it is eaten fresh as a hors d'ceuvre, from glass plates, 
with glass spoons. As to the Sturgeon (or royal fish) for food, 
its flesh in firmness, and dark red colour resembles beef, or veaj, 
and is almost as savoury. Robert LoveU declared this fish 
cleareth the voice. It is called a stirrer, beca.use it stirs up ^he 
mud by fiounderiijig at the bottom of the water. The Sturgeon 
is killed in the Mediterranean by blows on the head with heavy 
clubs, and its spinal marrow is taken out, being then made into 
pates ; the flesh may be boiled in shoes, or stuffed and roa,^ted. 
This flesh cannot be cooked better than by being roasted 
thoroughly before the fire, whilst basted hberally with white 
wine ; or the fish will make a deUcious soup. Queen Ehzabe,th 
was very fond of Sturgeon in puddings, or pies. She ordered 
sturgeon-pie with rosemary-mead to be prepared for breakfast. 
Alexis Soyer taught persons -of Hmited means to sjnuggle a shce 
of Sturgeon, with a few chopped shalots, beneath the piece of 
meat which was sent to the bakehouse, under cover of the 
potatoes which accompanied it. George the Second of England, 
who had a German chef as cook, Uked everything very full 
flavoured. Sturgeon not too fresh being one of his favourite 
dishes. 

CELERY. 

Our garden Celery (Apium sativum) is a cultivated variety of 
the wild Celery {Afium graveolens) which grows abundantly in 
moist English ditches, and in water, being unwholesome as a 
food, and with a fetid smell. But like several other plants of the 
same natural order (umbelUferous), when transplanted into the 
garden, dressed, and bleached, it becomes fragrant, healthful, 
and an excellent condimentary vegetable, besides now taking 
high curative rank. Our edible celery is a striking instance of 
the fact that most of the poisonous plants can by human in- 
genuity be so altered in character as to become eminently 
serviceable for food, or physic. Thus the wild Celery, which is 
certainly dangerous when growing as a plant exposed to the 
dayUght, becomes most palatable, as well as beneficial, by having 
its young, crisp, leaf-stalks earthed up, and bleached during a 
time of cultivation. It contains some sugar, and a volatile, 

10 



146 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

odorous principle, which in the wild plant smells, and tastes 
strongly, and disagreeably. The characteristic odour, and flavour 
of the cultivated plant are due to this same essential oil, which 
has now become of modified strength, and qualities ; also 
when freshly cut our Celery affords albumin, starch, mucilage, and 
mineral matters. Dr. Pereira showed that it contains sulphur, 
a known antiseptic, and a preventive of rheumatism, as freely 
as do the cruciferous plants, mustard, and the cresses. 

" Celery," said Mr. Gibson Ward, President of the Vegetarian 
Society, 1879, in some letters to The Times, " is when cooked 
a very fine dish, both as a nutriment, and as a purifier of the 
blood. I will not attempt to enumerate all the marvellous cures 
I have made with celery, lest medical men should be worrying 
me en masse. Let me fearlessly say that rheumatism is impos- 
sible on this diet ; and yet English doctors in 1876 allowed 
rheumatism to kill three thousand, six hundred and forty human 
beings, every death being as unnecessary as a dirty face." 

This herb " Sallery," wrote John Evelyn in his Acetaria, or 
Book of Scdlets, " is for its high and grateful taste ever placed in 
the middle of the grand sallet at our great men's tables, and our 
proctor's feasts, as the grace of the whole board." Chemically 
Celery contains apiin, and a glucoside, or sugar, combined with 
apigenin (a yellowish sublimable aromatic principle) which is 
said to be harmful to diabetic sufferers. With certain sus- 
ceptible persons the cultivated garden Celery disagrees violently, 
causing severe oppression of the chest, and constrictive trouble 
of the throat, within two or three hours after eating it ; also a 
swelling of the face and hands, with a general itching of the skin. 
If plainly stewed in only its own water. Celery retains all the 
useful properties of the stalks. Again, the sohd roots of the plant, 
if cut into dice, and baked a nice brown, may be ground into 
Celery coffee, which can be used Hke ordinary cofiee, making a 
refreshing beverage beneficial to the nervous system when 
needing recruital. The old Eomans employed the Celery plant 
in garlands, to be bound around the head for neutralizing the 
fumes of wine. It represented one of the Parsleys. 

Celeriac is the turnip-rooted Celery, and is likewise cooked as 
a wholesome vegetable. 

Or again, for relieving rheumatism, wash the Celery, and 
cut it into small pieces, and stew them well in quite a little 
water. Strain this, and put it aside to be taken two or three 



CHEESE. 147 

tablespoonfuls at a time. Dr. Stacey Jones advises Celery-tea, 
hot and strong (with, cream and sugar, if desired), to be drunk 
by the teacupful three or four times in the day, so as to abate 
heuralgia, and even sciatica, which it sometimes will do very 
speedily ; likewise sick headaches. For ordinary stewed Celery 
as a vegetable dish, cut five or six sticks of Celery into lengths, 
each about four inches, and stew these in some good brown 
stock until tender ; take out the Celery, and reduce the stock 
to half the quantity : thicken with a little butter and flour : 
add pepper and salt : then pour this over the Celery, and serve 
on a square of toast, very hot. For making Celery water, allow 
a large head for each quart of water. Cook this when washed, 
and cut up, until the water is reduced to a pint : then strain, and 
give a wineglassful two or three times in the day. It is best 
taken on an empty stomach. 

CESEALS. 

{See Barley, Bread, Pdlse, Rye.) 

Several of the esculent grains contain delicate particles of soda, 
in the chemical form of a sulphate. This salt when given as a 
drug is not readily assimilated in the body ; but as obtained by 
Nature's method it is resolved into its integral elements, so 
that the sodium base serves to oxidize sugar in the body, and 
thus to make it available for cell building, and for rendering 
the bile soluble. 

CHAMPAGNE (See Wines.) 

Dry Champagne contains no appreciable sugar, but when exported 
it usually has some melted sugar-candy, mixed with brandy, put 
into it. As the grapes from which it is made are not fully ripe, 
a second fermentation progresses in the bottled wine during the 
first year and a half. Carbonic acid gas is thus largely retained, 
which gives the exhilarating efEects of the wine more than from its 
alcohol, this being in only a small percentage. A spurious 
Champagne is much manufactured, sometimes from goose- 
berries or rhubarb, and charged with carbonic acid gas. 

CHEESE. 

When milk is coagulated by rennet, or some other acid, it 
separates into solid curd, and liquid whey (or serum). If the 



148 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

solid parts are collected, and pressed together in a mould, hoop, 
or vat, they unite to form firm Cheese. Other substances will 
serve to curdle milk in a like manner, such as the " Bedstraw " 
(Galium, from gala, milk), a hedgerow plant ; also the juice of 
the fig-tree. — Parenthetically the curative virtues of the common 
hedgerow Galium aparine (goose-grass, cleavers, or hedge- 
herifE) which are specially present in this herb, and its allies, 
should certainly be told about. They are of undoubted reputa- 
tion with reference to cancerous growths, and tumours of a kindred 
nature. For open cancers an ointment is made from the leaves, 
and stems, with which to dress the ulcerated parts, and at the 
same time the expressed juice of the fresh herb is given internally. 
•On analysis this plant is found to contain three distinct acids — 
ithe tannic acid (of galls), the citric acid (of lemons), and its own 
peculiar rubichloric acid. Considered generally, the Goose-grass 
exercises acid, astringent, and diuretic efiects, being remedial 
therefore against such diseases of the skin as lepra, psoriasis, 
and eczema, whilst remarkably helpful in some cases of epilepsy. 
An authorized officinal juice of the herb is dispensed by druggists, 
as well as a thickened extract; or, this Goose-grass maybe readily 
gathered fresh about most of our rural fields, and waste places, 
in which it grows luxuriantly, climbing with boldness by its 
slender, hairy stems through the dense vegetation of our hedges 
into open daylight, whilst having sharp, serrated leaves, and 
producing small, white fiowers " pearking on the tops of the 
sprigs." The stalks and leaves are armed with little hooked 
bristles with which they attach themselves to adjacent shrubs 
so as to ascend in ladder-like fashion. The botanical affix 
" aparine " is derived from a Greek verb, " a'pairo," to lay hold 
of. Dr. Quinlan, of Dublin, directs that whilst a bundle of ten, 
or twelve stalks is grasped with the left hand, this bundle should 
be cut into pieces of about half-an-inch long by a pair of scissors 
held in the right hand. The segments are then to be bruised 
thoroughly in a mortar, and apphed in the mass as a poultice 
beneath a bandage. The goose-grass has been employed thus 
with highly successful results to heal chronic ulcers on the legs. 
Appellations of " Cheese-rennet " and " Cheese-running " are 
given to its order of herbs. Highlanders make use in particular 
of the common Yellow Bedstraw (Galium verum) for curdling 
their milk to get Cheese, and to colour it ; this grows abundantly 
on dry banks, chiefly near the sea ; from its small golden flowers 



CHEESE. 149 



is prepared an ointment " good," says Gerarde, " for anointing 
the weary traveller." This herb is -par excellence the Bedstraw 
of " Our Lady," who gave birth to her divine Son, says the 
legend, in a stable, with wild flowers only for the bedding. Thus 
in an old Latin hymn she sings right gloriously : — 

" Leotum stravi tibi soli : dormi, nate bellule ! 
Stravi leetum foeno inolle : dormi, mi animule ! 
Ne quid desit sternam rosis : sternam foenum violis, 
Pavimentum hyaointhis, et proesepe liliia." 

" Sleep, sweet little babe on the bed I have spread thee : 
Sleep, fond little life, on the straw scattered o'er ! 
' Mid the petals of roses and pansies I've laid thee. 
In crib of white lilies : blue bells on the floor." 

Pure milk, when curdled by rennet, leaves most of its fat in 
the Cheese (casein, or curd, as in Cheddar Cheese) ; but if some 
of the cream is first removed from the milk by skimming, then 
a Cheese is produced which is poor in fat, like Dutch Cheese. 
Good Cheese is composed of from 30 to 50 per cent of water, 
20 to 25 per cent of casein, or curd, 18 to 30 per cent of fat, and 
4 to 6 per cent of mineral matter. If, again, the curd is pre- 
cipitated by letting the milk become sour, or if by adding vinegar 
to it, then a comparatively poor Cheese is the result. Also the 
Qature of the Cheese will depend much on the kind of milk used. 
When the casein, or curd, is squeezed, and pressed so as to remove 
the liquid whey, if high pressure is used then hard Cheese is 
made ; if lower pressure is employed, then a soft Cheese is 
produced, but not of a sort which keeps well. The next step is 
to ripen the Cheese, a process dependent on bacterial life intro- 
duced from without, either spontaneously, or by design, the 
flavour of the Cheese being determined by the particular species 
of germ which obtains access to it whilst it ripens. The rhineral 
matters contained in Cheese are chiefly salts of lime, and some 
Cheeses contain further about 2 per cent of milk sugar (lactose). 
The infiltration of plentiful fat comprised in Cheese makes it 
always an article of diet not easily dealt with by delicate stomachs, 
especially when animal food is likewise eaten. The incorporated 
fat (which is not miscible with the gastric juices) prevents 
digestive juices reaching the curd thoroughly, so that Cheese 
should be carefully masticated in order to finely divide its 
substance before swallowing the same ; or, another plan is to 
grate the Cheese before eating it, or to dissolve it in a little water 



150 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



or milk, (perhaps adding a few grains of alkaline potash to assist 
the solution). Another reason why Cheese proves indigestible 
to certain persons, is that during the process of ripening, small 
quantities of fatty acids are produced, which are apt to disagree 
in the stomach ; but when once reaching the intestines, Cheese 
is absorbed as readily, and as completely as meat. To the person 
who wishes to use Cheese as a substitute for meat (because more 
economical, and fully as nourishing), the Canadian, or Dutch 
quaUty may be best commended, preferably the former ; and new 
Cheese is much to be advocated, before fermentation has begun 
to any degree of progress. But Cheese should not be eaten at 
all freely by persons who are leading inactive, indolent lives, 
smce the substantial casein, which is its chief constituent, 
would to such persons be difficult of digestion ; otherwise its 
component principles furnish fat, heat, and energy to a remarkable 
degree. 

The average palate has been taught to relish Cheese after 
it has undergone butyric acid fermentation (which is, in 
fact, the first stage of putridity). But years ago, when 
the small dairymen made plain Cheese for their own use, not 
for the market, they began to eat it before it was a fortnight 
old, and took it as freely as they did bread, never dreaming 
of its proving difficult of digestion, which it never was. 
Nowadays, to put such simply compressed casein before 
the lover of modern-cured Cheese, would be to him almost an 
insult ; and yet from the standpoint of health, it is the only 
Cheese which can be altogether approved ; though equal praise 
may be given to the fresh curd, consisting of unaltei'ed albumin 
of milk, in combination with some fat, a little milk sugar, and 
some lactic acid. The numerous varieties of mature Cheese 
are products altered more or less to a degree proportionate with 
their stage of ripeness. Some soft Cheeses ripen in a week or 
two ; others, of firmer consistence, take many months to mature. 
Parmesan Cheese, made at Parma, in Northern Italy, from 
skimmed milk of special cows, and coloured greenish with safEron, 
is a hard article which requires three years to ripen. 

Whilst contained in fresh milk the casein, which forms the 
substantial basis of Cheese, exists in two forms, the 
soluble, and the insoluble ; in the first of these it remains 
completely dissolved in the milk, whilst in the latter it is 
made by art to coagulate as insoluble Cheese, but carrying 



CHEESE. 151 

with it the fatty matter, or cream. The coagulation from 
the soluble to the insoluble form by rennet becomes produced 
rather mysteriously. The milk sugar is probably changed into 
lactic acid, which then serves to coagulate the milk-casein. A 
similar coagulation takes place within the stomach by the acid 
gastric juice, when milk is had as food. The casein of fresh milk 
contains more nutritious material than any other food which is 
ordinarily to be obtained, except that the mineral salts which 
have been dissolved in the whey are left behind. Cooked casein 
is more digestible than the raw substance as we for the most 
part eat it in Cheese, junket, or curds; but its heated preparations 
are unknown to our kitchens except as Welsh Rabbit (rare-bit), 
which is an indigestible dish as generally made. 

" Here comes the practical question. Can we assimilate, 
or convert into our bodily substance, the Cheese food as 
easily as we can flesh food ? " "I reply " (says Mattieu 
Wilhams) " we certainly cannot if the Cheese is raw, but I 
have no doubt we may do so if it be suitably cooked." The 
Swiss make, as one of their plainest and commonest dishes, 
a Cheese fondu, of eggs, and grated Cheese, with a httle new milk, 
or butter, and cooked in the condition of a paste ; or else with 
shoes of bread soaked in a batter of eggs and milk, and covered 
with grated Cheese, being then gently baked ; by some persons 
the bread-crumb is likewise grated. In such fashion is concocted 
the " Cheese pudding " of the Swiss, who gain the mineral salts 
lacking in their Cheese by their accompanying salads of fresh vege- 
table substances rich in potash salts. Mattieu Wilhams adds : 
" The following is a simplified recipe of my own : Take a quarter of 
a pound of grated Cheese, add to it a teacupful of milk, in which 
is dissolved as much powdered bicarbonate of potash as will 
stand on the svtrface of a threepenny piece ; also add mustard, 
and pepper to taste ; heat this carefully until the Cheese is 
completely dissolved ; then beat up three eggs (yolks and whites 
together), and add them to this solution of Cheese, stirring the 
whole. Now take a shallow metal, or earthenware dish, or tray, 
which will bear heating, put a httle butter on it, and heat the 
butter until it frizzles ; next pour the mixture into the tray, 
and bake, or fry it until it is nearly solidified. The bicarbonate 
of potash is an original novelty which may possibly alarm some 
readers averse to medicinal agents, but its harmless use is to be 
advocated for two reasons : First, it effects a better solution 



152 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

6f the Cheese cUrd, or casein, by neutralizing the free lactic a6id 
which inevitably exists in the milk beforehand, a;s well as any 
other ffee a;cids which are present in the Cheese ; and the seccyfid 
reason is of grea;ter weight : salts of potash are essential for 
mankind as necessary constituents of his food ; they exist 
atbtmdantly in all kinds of wholesome vegetables, and fruits, and 
in the juices of fresh meats, but they are wanting in Cheese, having, 
because of their greater solubility, been left behind in the whey. 
This absence of potash seems to ilie to be the one serious objection 
to a free use of Cheese diet exclusively." Cheese, says an old 
adage, digests everj^thifig but itself, — " Caseus est nequam : 
digefit omnia; sequarii." 

Quite lately casein, the proteid. Or chiefly nutritious part of 
milk, has been separated in the powder forin, dry, as Plasmon, 
this being devoid of water, fat and sugar, but also of such potash 
salts as remain dissolved in the liquid portion of the milk (unless 
evaporated out, and added again). The tlasmon, or pure casein, 
is obtained from skini milk, and is intended for addition to other 
foods, to iflcrease their stock of proteid. It is the product of 
separated milk, as a fine white powder, being literally Cheese 
without its fat and its inilk sugar, nothing reniaining practically 
except pure casein, or flesh-forming material, utilizable with 
obvious advantage for many combinations. Dr. Robert 
Hutchison recently, in an address on Patent Foods delivered to 
the S.W. London Medical Society, whilst passing a sweeping 
ponideMnation oU most of these as costly, and unequal to plain 
ordinary foods, went on to add encomiums on one class of sUch 
foods in which the casein, or proteid of milk has been separated 
in its integrity, for being added to enrich Other foods as to their 
sum of proteid. " I think," he concludes, " one may say that 
these are among the most useful of all artificial foods. There is 
no doubt that preparations of the kind can be added in very 
la*ge amount to ordinary foods, such as soups, and milk, and 
even to some solid foods with great benefit, and without the sick 
person being aware of such addition ; and, seeing that these 
preparations certainly contain 80 or' 90 per cent of pure proteid, 
it can be well understood that the amount of nutritive material 
which they are the means of supplying is considerable. I know 
of no special indications necessitating their Use, but there are 
many conditions of disease where one wants to enrich a fluid 
diet. If a patient is on pure milk, and you desire to increase 



CHEESE. 153 



the nutritive value of such milk, then it is that such preparations 
can be made very useful ; and they can be added, whilst knowing 
that they wiU be easily digested, and ahnost completely absorbed, 
and that they can do the sick person no harm. Looking at the 
subject all round, these are among the most trustworthy of all 
the artificial foods, and have the further advantage that they 
are economical, because the casein is extracted from skim milk, 
which would otherwise be thrown away." 

It must be remembered that Cheese by its preparation loses 
the basic alkaline salts, which should serve the purpose of 
neutrahzing uric acid, as formed during its use by combustion in 
the system. About certain parts of Saxony, in the Altenburg 
district, where the peasantry consume much Cheese, bladder- 
stones of uric acid formation are found to be very frequent. 
But in Switzerland, where Cheese is likewise largely consumed, 
such bladder-stones are rare, simply because much fruit, rich in 
salts of potash, is also eaten there. As Cheese ripens it owes the 
elements of its savour to the decomposition of its casein, which 
substance in its original state is without flavour, or odour ; the 
presence of fat prevents decomposition from going too far. 
Nevertheless, a butyric fermentation proceeds in the Cheese, 
giving it presently a strong odour, and advancing to putrescence, 
so that many varieties of the ahment will then produce in the 
eater toxic symptoms more or less pronounced. The principal 
poisonous agent in such Cheese is chemically tyrotoxicon, and 
old decayed Cheese sometimes causes through the presence 
thereof coUc, diarrhoea, double vision, pain about the heart, 
and collapse. But the mould of Cheese is of vegetable nature, 
a fungus, and not bacterial, nor bacillary. One pound of sound 
Cheese made from a gallon of new milk contains as much fat 
as three pounds of beef, and as much protein (animal substance) 
as two pounds of beef ; the casein, and the butter-fat are very 
nutritious. Casein consists as to its elements, of hydrogen, 
nitrogen, carbon, and sulphur. If sugar and bread be eaten 
with Cheese, then all the constituents of a valuable meal are 
secured, but vigorous outdoor exercise should be taken so as to 
ensure its digestion. 

Toasted Cheese is digestible if it is new, and lightly cooked, 
with perhaps cream, or butter added ; but tough toasted 
Cheese is about as indigestible as leather. A Welsh Eabbit 
is made of Cheese melted with a little ale, and then 



154 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

poured over slices of hot toast ; sometimes cream is added, 
also mustard, or Worcester sauce. If freely peppered with 
cayenne, it proves of help to hard drinkers when threatened 
with delirium tremens, and serves instead of more drink to 
satisfy their cravings. In Lewis Carroll's Hunting of ike Snark 
the baker, having no fixed name, was called by his companions 
"Toasted Cheese." The famous " Olde Cheshire Cheese" 
Tavern, in Fleet Street, London, is historically associated with 
Johnson, and Goldsmith. Here you may yet see the Doctor's 
chair, and sit where he, and Goldy sat. In The Cheese Isaac 
Bickersteth ma^e an epigram which contains the oft-quoted 
hues : — 

" Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love : 
But why did you kick me downstairs ? " 

The fare of the " Cheshire Cheese," whilst of the good old English 
sort, is world famous ; its steaks and its ham are traditions ; 
but the celebrated pudding, made for two centuries from the 
same recipe, and served every Wednesday and Saturday to an 
appreciative and hungry gathering, is the crowning glory of the 
Old Tavern. This pudding ranges from fifty, to sixty, seventy, 
or eighty pounds in weight ; and gossip has it that in the dim 
past the rare dish was constructed of a hundredweight proportion. 
It is composed of a fine light crust, in a huge basin, and there are 
entombed therein beefsteaks, kidneys, oysters, larks, mushrooms, 
with wondrous spices, and gravies the secret of which is known 
only to the compounder. The boiling process takes from 
sixteen to twenty hours, and the scent of it on a windy day has 
been known to reach as far as the Stock Exchange. The process 
of carving it is as solemn a ceremony as the cutting the mistletoe 
with the golden sickle of the Druids. Old William, for many 
years the head waiter, could only be seen in his real glory on 
pudding days. He used to consider it his duty to go round the 
tables insisting that the guests should have second, and third, — 
aye, with wonder be it spoken ! — and fourth helpings ! " Any 
gentleman say ' Pudden ? ' " was his constant query ; and this 
habit was not broken when a crusty customer growled, " No 
gentleman says ' Pudden.' " William, hke most of his customers, 
has passed away, but a room remains consecrated to his memory 
and is still called by his name. 

Cheddar Cheese, made chiefly at Pennard, contains from 



CHEESE. 155 



23 to 29 per cent of casein (proteid), from 30 to 40 per cent of fat, 
and from 3 to 5 per cent of mineral salts ; its savoury residuum 
is very small. Cheshire Cheese is very similar, but contains 
more sugar of milk. The common Dutch Cheese, as supphed 
by OUT grocers, is a small, hard, round Cheese made from skimmed 
milk, and coloured outside with madder. It contains from 19 
to 24 per cent of casein, and only from 16 to 24 per cent of fat, 
with from 5 to 6 per cent of sugar of milk. But in Holland the 
Dutch, or " Cottage" Cheese, is a preparation of pressed curds, 
prepared with muriatic acid instead of rennet, and served with 
salt, or with sugar, and cream; this is " smeer-kaas," pot-cheese. 
In the Dutch and Factory Cheeses, curdled thus with acid instead 
of rennet, the highly important and essential earth-salt, phosphate 
of hme, is left behind dissolved in the whey, and thus the food 
value of these Cheeses is seriously lowered. Phosphates of the 
earth-salts are concerned in bone-making for the growing subject, 
also to some extent in building up the brain, and nervous sub- 
stance in the body, though not so vitally in the latter respect 
as is commonly supposed. Bone contains about 11 per cent of 
phosphorus, but brain substance less than 1 per cent. The 
phosphate of hme which is supplied by Cheese made with rennet, 
is probably in a condition of such fine division, that it can be 
readily dissolved by the gastric juice in the stomach. For a 
dish in which there is a true cooking of Cheese by solution, and 
with an admirable result, grate six ounces of rich Cheese 
(Parmesan is the best), put it into an enamelled saucepan, with 
a teaspoonful of flour of mustard, a saltspoonful of white pepper, 
a grating of Cayenne, the sixth part of a nutmeg (grated), two 
ounces of butter, two tablespoonfuls of baked flour, and a gill 
of new milk ; stir it over a slow fire till it becomes like thick, 
smooth cream (but it must not boil) ; add the well-beaten yolks 
of six eggs ; beat for ten minutes, then add the whites of the 
eggs also beaten to a stiff froth ; put the mixture into a tin, 
or into a cardboard mould, and bake in a quick oven for twenty 
minutes ; serve immediately. 

Stilton Cheese has been made until lately almost always in 
Leicestershire, being a solid, rich, white English production, 
the cream of one day being added to the entire milk of the next ; 
then the curd is put into moulds, and allowed to sink of itself, 
no pressure whatever being applied. Other kinds, such as 
Cheddar, are subjected to a pressure of as much as one ton, or 



156 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

twenty-five hundredweight. Stilton Cheese requires, first, lactic 
bacteria to convert the' milk sugar into lactic acid ; then other 
special bacteria act on the casein, and peptonize it, cha.nging 
the curd from a hard, insoluble substance into what is soluble 
and digestible, whilst the oidium, or lactic mould, gives the 
coating ; the blue inner mould goes by the name of Penicillium 
glaucum. This fine Cheese can now be imitated anywhere by 
using rich milk, and the famous Bacterium B. 41, of which pure 
cultures are made, and employed all over the world. 

Gocgonzola is an Italian Cheese (North Italy), made from the 
native pasture milk, and strongly resembling Stilton. After 
the curd has been thoroughly squeezed, a tumblerful of milk 
putrescent to mouldiness is added. This Cheese is coloured by 
Sage leaves, and its green mould is said to be an imitation 
effected by transfixing the Cheese here and there with copper 
skewers which are left in for a while. Originally this Cheese 
was made of so rich a quality as to fetch half-a-crown a pound 
(the mode of its manufacture being kept then a strict local secret), 
but now most of the Gorgonzola Cheese which comes into the 
market is fabricated, and sells for about tenpence a pound. 
Again, the green colour of certain other Italian Cheeses is 
attributed to the milk having stood for a time in copper vessels, 
during which time of repose the milk would absorb an appreciable 
quantity of copper. In twenty-five samples of Parmesan 
Cheese, there was found to be present to every two pounds of the 
Cheese, from 0-8 to 3-3 per cent, of copper. Parmesan is a 
hard, dry, highly-flavoured Italian Cheese coloured with saffron. 
It is made among the rich pasturage of the Po meadows, from 
cows' milk partly skimmed. Professor Macfadyean told his 
hearers at the Royal Institute, February, 1903, that there is 
no finer food in the world for nutritive purposes than Cheese 
grated, and put into proper soups, such as of lentil, and the like, 
just as the Italians invariably sprinkle Parmesan over their 
" Minestra." 

Camembert Cheese is made from new milk coagulated by the 
action of rennet, being then ladled into moulds, and allowed to 
drain ; these are then salted, and turned daily, whilst kept in 
Caves, or cold cellars, for six weeks until ripe. The different 
flavours of the various sorts of Cheese are due, not to something 
in the local soil where each is produced, but simply to methods 
in making, which give more or less play to the several kinds of 



CHEESE. 157 



microbes. Taking Camembert as an example, on the outside 
of this is to be seen a greenish colour, consisting of a dead 
fungus, which while it lives gets into the curd, and feeds on 
the acid of the fresh Cheese for its maintenance. Meantime this 
acid is fatal to the particular microbes which give the Camembert 
its distinctive flavour ; but directly the acid has been all used 
up by the fungus from within the Cheese these microbes begin 
to multiply, and spread. The special fungus, or mould is allowed 
to exist on the walls of the Camembert Cheese factories, and its 
little poppyheads burst, keeping the air full of dusty spores 
which penetrate the curd. Then the microbes which are alceady 
there (since the exhaustion of the curd acid by the fungus) start 
work, and convert the curd into soft digestible Cheese. 

So is it similarly, with all the foreign Cheeses. A French 
doctor has identified the several microbes which produce the 
approved flavours, and which can be suppHed in separate bottles. 
With such microbes, and a few plain directions about tempera- 
ture, any Cheese may be made at option. The monks of 
Briquebec, Port du Salut, have been noted for supplying a 
famous Cheese, the secret of which they would not reveal. But 
some scientists secured specimens of its particular microbe, then 
cultivated the same in test-tubes, and were thus enabled to tell 
all the world how the said famous Cheese can be produced. A 
Camembert Cream Cheese is made to-day at Reading, its im- 
ported bacteria being the Micrococcus maldensis, and Bacillus 
fermitatis, and its mould PenicUlium candidum. Nowadays, at 
the different dairy factories up and down the country, whither 
the farmers send their milk, the butter-fat is extracted, whilst 
the residual milk, sugar, casein, and other soHds remain in their 
hands wherewith to feed the calves ; and as these creatures 
require some sort of fat in place of the Cheese-cream, cod-liver 
oil is added, at sixpence a gallon, very successfully. 

Roquefort Cheese is made from the milk of ewes, and goats. 
When dry enough the Cheeses are placed in a deep cavern of 
the limestone rook, at a temperature of 40° Fahrenheit. They 
are salted, and the mould fungus is scraped off from time to time, 
until they turn from a white to a blue, and on through that to a 
reddish brown ; this is a rich Cheese, and has to be kept a 
considerable time before it is ripe enough for eating. 

G-ruyere Cheese (from Gruyere, a Canton of Switzerland) is 
made by the curd being pressed in large, and comparatively 



158 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

shallow moulds, then heavily salted for a month, or more, while 
still in the moulds. It is traversed by abundant air-bubbles, 
and open passages, whilst flavoured by the dried herb Melilot, 
or sweet yellow Clover (admirable against nose-bleeding). 

Sage Cheese is coloured with bruised Sage leaves, or in Scotland 
with lovage leaves, also with marigold leaves, and parsley. 

" Marbled with sage the hardening cheese she pressed." 

Gay. 

Sydney Smith, when writing to Eobert Murchison, the 
geologist (December, 1841), said : " Heaven send I may 
understand your book, but my knowledge of the science is too 
slender for that advantage, — a knowledge which just enables 
me to distinguish between the caseous and the cretaceous 
formations ; or, as the vulgar have it, to " know chalk from 
cheese"; (the real meaning of which is to have ready possession 
of one's wits ; to know a poor, spurious article from a good, or (j 
genuine one). Groaning Cheese, as we read in Bourne's Popular v> 
Antiquities, takes a part in the bhthement, or entertainment, 
provided after the birth, or at the christening, of an infant. 
" It is customary at Oxford to cut what we in the north call the 
Groaning Cheese in the middle, when the babe is born, and to 
so proceed with the cutting as by degrees to form with it a large 
kind of ring, through which the child is passed on the christening 
day." " As thin as Banbury Cheese " was a favourite simile 
with our ancestors : " Our lands and glebes are clipped and 
pared to become as thin as Banbury Cheese." 

A Welsh Rabbit, which is practically Cheese-toast, is popularly 
so named after a jocular fashion, much the same as a " Norfolk 
capon," or red herring, or " Glasgow magistrate." Similarly 
an Essex Hon is a calf, a Field Lane duck is a baked sheep's head, 
and potatoes are Irish plums, or Irish apricots. " Hosted 
Cheese," wrote Dr. Tobias Venner (Via Recta ad vitam longam, 
1620), " is more meete to entise a mouse or rat into a trap than 
to be received into the bodie, for it corrupteth the meats in the 
stomacke, breedeth adust cholericke humours, and sendeth 
up from the stomacke putrid vapours, and noysome fumes which 
greatly offend the head, and corrupt the breath." " To conclude, 
(he adds), " the much eating of Cheese is onely convenient for 
rustiok people, and such as have very strong stomackes, and that 
also use great exercise." So much for the old author ! Per contra 



CHEESE. 159 



we read in Pickwick what Ctarles Dickens thought on the 
subject : " A couple of Mrs. Bardell's most particular acquaint- 
ance had just stepped in at her house in Groswell Street to have 
a quiet cup of tea, and a little warm supper of a couple of 
sets of pettitoes, and some toasted Cheese. The said Cheese 
was simmering, and browning away most delightfully in a little 
Dutch oven before the iire, and the pettitoes were getting on 
deliciously in a little tin saucepan on the hob." 

" Though Welsh Rabbit be so called, yet no one knoweth well 
why ye name be added," said Mrs. Glasse. The Welsh Rabbit, 
if it has ever been a local dish (the name may possibly be Gaelic), 
has never certainly within the knowledge, or memory of present 
man been a Welsh dish. It was a special attribute of the London 
Club House, or Tavern, of the old school. Three or four Welsh 
Rabbits apiece were a fair allowance as supper for a man of 
average appetite ; and our great-grandfathers ate them, and 
went (or were carried) to bed, and slept none the worse, nor 
dreamed of gout, or dyspepsia. In those days every Tavern of 
London had its Welsh-Rabbit maker, whilst the price of this 
dish was eighteenpence. The cook brought Cheese-grater, hard 
bits of stale Cheese, thick shoes of stale bread three or four days 
old,, a pat of fresh butter, a mustard pot, and a gill of old ale. 
Into a clean saucepan went the ale, and it was quickly brought 
to a boiUng point ; the Cheese, first grated fine, went in next, 
followed by the butter, and the mustard. For some persons 
the bread was toasted, for others merely warmed in the oven ; 
and on this the seething mass was poured, and then immediately 
placed before the eater. Such is the only genuine formula for 
making a Welsh Rabbit. A modern cookery book will order to 
' melt shoes of rich Cheese,' evidently without knowing that 
Cheese, to be mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients, and 
to be rendered digestible by thorough cooking, must be grated. 
Shoes of melted Cheese will mix with nothing, and would 
rapidly cool into a capital imitation of shoe-leather." 

New Cheese has some acid reaction, but by degrees, as the Cheese 
ripens, this disappears. Some of the casein begins to decompose, 
and evolves ammonia, which neutraUzes the acid of the Cheese ; 
likewise the fatty acids combine with the ammonia, and become 
Qeutral. If the fermentative ripening of Cheese goes on to actual 
putrefaction, then poisonous products become developed, and 
may be mischievously taken up into the blood. But certain 



160 ME A LS MED I CINA L . 

kinds of Cheese, when only partially decayed, will start a useiul 
digestive fermentation in the contents of the stomach, after a 
full Kieal, just as sour leaven when introduced into sweet dough, 
will cause the whole mass to ferment ; and therefore it is that 
the takirig a small portion of Cheese, partly decayed (but not 
putrid), at the end of an ample dinner, will promote the better 
digestion of the whole meal. Old Cheese can scarcely be 
discerned to be the same as when it was new. Matthiolus 
(L570), was of opinion that only then is it good for gouty 
pe;capns, being also applied outwardly to the parts where they 
feel their great pains ; some persons have been instanced who 
by the use thereof have been recovered. Dr. Haig says : " Jfo 
ojie has, I bejieve, found any xanthin, or uric acid, in milk, or 
Cheese." 

To summarize the matter, Cheese may be eaten for two distinct 
purposes : either for the general sustenance of the body as a 
food aburidant in animal nourishment (casein), and warming 
fat, with milk sugar ; or as a sort of digestive condiment, taken, 
as it were, in morsel form just at the end of the usual fare, as is 
customary at old-fashioned dinner tables, with a ripe Cheese 
in a tasty stage of decay, and mould. The vegetable moulds 
of Cheese are Aspergillus glaucus, blue and green ; Sporindonema 
casei, jed ; and the Cheese mite is an Acarus. The savoury 
principle of Cheese, a chemical oxide termed " leucine," has of 
all foodstuffs the highest sapidity. 

" Mice," wrote old Fuller, " are the best tasters of the 
tenderest Cheese, and have given their verdict for the good- 
ness of the Welsh." Horace Smith tells a little story 
which is appropriate in this respect : " ' My dear children,' 
said an old rat to his young family, ' the infirmities of 
age are pressing so heavily upon me that I have determined 
to dedicate the short remainder of my days to mortifica- 
tion and penance, in a narrow and lonely hole which I 
have lately discovered ; but let me not interfere with your 
juvenile enjoyments : youth is the season for pleasure : be happy 
therefore, and obey my last injunction, never to come near me 
in my retreat ! God bless you all ! ' Deeply affected, whilst 
snivelling audibly, and wiping his paternal eye with his tail, 
the old rat withdrew, and was seen ,no more ior several days, 
when his youngest daughter, moved rather by filial affection 
than by that sense of curiosity which is attributed to her sex. 



CHERRY. 161 



stole to his cell of mortification, which, turned out to be a cavity 
made by his own teeth in the choice substance of an enormous 
Cheshire Cheese." 

" The farmer's daughter hath soft brown hair, 
(Butter and eggs, and a pound of cheese.) 
And I met with this ballad I can't say where. 
Which wholly consisted of lines like these : 
(Butter, and eggs, and a pound of cheese.) " 

C. S. Calverley. — Fly Leaves. 

" I be most mortal 'ungry," says the rustic cottager of Devon 
in his peasant speech ; " I can ayte a giide hulch ov burd an' 
cheese, wan za big's my tu vistes." Some famous gourmet has 
remarked that dinner without Cheese is Uke a woman with only 
one eye. 

A Cheese cake is a pastry cake filled in its middle with a custard 
of soft curds, sugar, egg, butter, and spice. This sort of cake 
is first mentioned in the Latin work De re Rusticd, ascribed to 
Cato, the elder, of Utica. He simply terms it " Placenta," 
which is the Latin word for a cake in general, and not for any 
particular cake. Cheese in connection with such a cake does 
not mean ripe Cheese in the ordinary sense, but freshly-pressed 
curds, or casein. In ancient Eome such cakes were sometimes 
made of large size, as they are in Germany at the present time. 
Cheese cakes have a basis of flake dough, or puff paste, shaped 
like a small, flat saucer, which contains the mixed custard. 

Sydney Smith, when writing to Master Humphrey Mildmay 
(April, 1837), from London, said : " In the Greek war the 
surgeons used Cheese and wine for their ointments ; and in 
Henry the Eighth's time cobbler's wax, and rust of iron were the 
ingredients ; so, you see, it's of some advantage to be living in 
Berkeley Square, Anno Domini 1837." 

A few years back there was current a cockney slang expres- 
sion " Quite the Cheese." It actually originated in India, 
where the Hindustan word " chiz " (thing,) is thus applied ; 
" quite the thing " runs as the true phrase there. 

CHERKT. (And see Fruit.) 

Our cultivated Cherry (Cerasus) dates from the time of Henry 
the Eighth. A London street cry in the fifteenth century was 
" Cherries on the ryse," (or on twigs), but these were probably 

11 



162 ■ MEALS MEDICINAL. 

the produce of the Wild Cherry. From the fruit of different 
varieties of the Cherry, several highly-esteemed cordials are 
prepared : the Maraschino of Italy, the Ratafia of France, the 
Kirschwasser of Germany, and our Cherry Brandy. " Cherry 
Bounce," again, called also Cherry Cordial, is a popular Uqueur 
consisting of burnt brandy in which Cherries have been steeped, 
some sugar being added. " Yea, of Cherry Bounce quantum 
sujf., and old Oporto a couple of magnums, that's my physic ; " 
{Secrets Worth Knowing). The kernels of Cherry stones contain 
a basis of prussic acid. From the bark of the tree exudes a 
gum which is equal in value to gum arable. Cherry-water, as 
concocted from Cherry- juice fermented, is excellent for dispelhng 
the nausea of a disturbed stomach through tardy digestion, or 
because of heavy food. Large quantities of this " Kirschwasser " 
are made in the Black Forest of Germany, and Switzerland, 
small, black fruit being used, together with the stones, which 
furnish the said minimum quantity of prussic acid. Both this 
cordial, and our Cherry Brandy (when the crushed stones have 
been included) are very useful against stomach sickness, and 
flatulent distress. 

Among other supposed causes of appendicitis (which 
is now such a common and serious ailment, requiring surgical 
aid to remove the obstruction) impacted Cherry-stones have 
to bear the brunt of much obloquy ; but the truth is that in 
rural districts, where country folk often take no pains to separate 
the stones when eating Cherries, precisely there (many Cherry- 
stones being swallowed, and occupying the intestines) appen- 
dicitis is rare. Most commonly a bacillus {B. coli communis) is 
encountered within the appendix as giving the obstructive 
trouble, and causing septic inflammation. The colon must be 
well washed out, and cold vinegar compresses apphed over the 
whole abdomen, renewing them every half-hour ; also soft bland 
laxatives may be given, such as pulp of stewed prunes, bread 
made with baking powder, liquorice lozenges, and antiseptic 
peppermints. Cherries, as well as some other fruits, tend to 
lessen the formation of uric acid in gouty subjects by the reason 
of their quinic acid. The French distil from Cherries a hqueur 
known as " Eau de Cerises " ; whilst the Italians prepare from 
a Cherry called Marasca the liqueur noted as " Marasquin." 

In former days, about Kent on Easter Monday, " pudding 
pies and Cherry beer" were much in vogue; travellers by the 



CHERRY. 168 



stage coach down the Canterbury Road were invited at every 
stopping-place to partake of this fare. " May Duke Cherries " 
was one of the old London cries ; and " Cherry Pie " is a name 
given to the Garden Heliotrope because of its scent similar to 
that of the fruit. The late Queen Victoria took care that 
remarkably fine Cherries should be grown at Frogmore, and 
ordered that some of these should be served at luncheon as often 
as possible. Cherry sauce used to be so highly esteemed that 
for many years it was supplied at every Royal luncheon, and 
dinner, no matter what the sweets might be. It was made thus : 
Put three parts of a bottle of Claret in a high copper pan, with 
some white sugar, and a stick of cinnamon ; bring it to the boil, 
throw in some Cherries not over-ripe, and simmer for ten minutes, 
removing the scum ; then lift out the cinnamon, and thicken 
the sauce with a Uttle arrowroot mixed with cold water ; the 
sauce should not be too thick, but should freely coat the spoon, 
and it is then ready for use. When fresh Cherries are out of 
season the bottled fcuit must be employed, taking some of the 
juice from the bottle, and mixing it with an equal quantity of 
Claret. Freshly- gathered Cherries (to be made into ice for dinner) 
were always approved of at Queen Victoria's table, and many 
of them were constantly preserved in large jars by the Royal 
confectioners to come into use at dessert during the winter 
months. Morellas were chiefly chosen for the purpose, and 
were likewise much esteemed in brandy. 

Cherry soup {Potage aux Cerises) is popular in North Germany. 
It is made there with the acid Cherries, called Vistula, or 
Weichsel, and known in England as Kentish Pie Cherries. These, 
when stewed with cinnamon and lemon rind, are divided into 
three parts : One is reserved to be stoned, and put whole into 
the soup ; the other two parts are first boiled with some water 
bound with a " roux " of flour, and then passed through the 
tammy, adding sugar to taste. Pound the Cherry stones, and 
heat them with two or three glassfuls of red wine just to boiling ; 
strain through a hnen cloth, and add the extract to the soup, 
which may be eaten with sponge cakes. 

For making Cherry jam the common Cherries are to be 
preferred, as they give a much better flavour than the sweet 
Cherries. " There is an outlandish proverb," saith old Fuller, 
" ' He that eateth Cherries with noblemen shall have his eyes 
spurted out with the stones ' ; but it fixeth no fault in the fruit, 



164 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



the expression being metaphorical." Quoth Dr. Samuel Johnson 
in his wisdom, "It is the Colossus who, when he tries, can cut 
the best heads upon Cherry stones as well as hew statues out 
of the rock." Pepys has told (November 2nd, 1667) that " when 
at the King's Playhouse it was observable how a gentleman of 
good habit, sitting just before us, eating some Cherries in the 
midst of the play, did drop down as dead, being choked ; but, 
with much ado, Orange Moll did thrust her finger down his 
throat, and brought him to life again." 

CHESTNUT. 

Op all known Nuts the Spanish Chestnut (Stover Nut, or Meat 
Nut) is the most farinaceous, or starchy, and the least oily, so 
that it is more easy of digestion than any other. Italian 
Chestnut Cakes contain 40 per cent of nutritious matter, and 
Chestnut flour, when properly prepared, are capital food for 
children. The ripe Chestnut possesses a fine creamy flavour, 
and if roasted this Nut becomes almost aromatic. The diet of 
Italian poor people consists chiefly of Chestnuts during the 
autumn and winter, when these are eaten roasted, or prepared 
like a stew with gravy. Likewise in Corea the Chestnut has 
almost the same popular place for food as the potato occupies 
with the Irish. To make a Chestnut puree, take two pounds 
of good sound Chestnuts, out the tops off,- and. put the nuts to 
bake for about twenty minutes ; then remove the shells, and 
skins ; put the nuts into a stewpan, with enough light stock 
to make of a pale lemon shade ; add salt, and some castor sugar, 
also a pat of butter ; simmer till the nuts are tender, then pound 
them, and rub them through a fine wire sieve, mixing them 
with a little cream (and anisette, if liked) ; work into a smooth 
paste, put it into a forcing-bag with a large rose pipe, and use. 

For convalescents after a protracted illness, the French make 
a chocolate of sweet Chestnuts which is highly restorative. In 
olden times Chestnuts were common rations supplied to our 
soldiers ; and when it seemed probable that a castle would be 
besieged, out went the soldiers and laid violent hands on all the 
stores of Chestnuts within ready reach. Nowadays in Italy, 
and elsewhere on the Continent, meat having become a luxury, 
Chestnuts are the staple food of the people. " Hodge-Podge," 
or " Hotch-Potch," is a ragout made with Chestnuts. For 



CHESTNUT. 1P5 

Chestnut soup (according to an old Italian recipe), " finely chop 
two small onions, one carrot, two leeks, and a quarter stick of 
celery ; fry with butter until browned ; add one quart of stock, 
three or four cloves, and salt to taste ; stew over a slow fire for 
one hour. Take three or lour dozen Chestnuts, according to 
size, and peel off the outside husk ; then place them in an 
ordinary stewpan, stirring them about until they are sufficiently 
cooked for removal of the second envelope, or shell ; stew them 
for half-an-hour in half the prepared liquor ; put apart some 
whole Chestnuts to garnish the soup ; chop the remainder, aud 
strain them through a sieve with the Kquor they have been 
boiled in ; add the remainder of the prepared stock ; stew over 
a slow fire for six or seven , minutes ; place the whole Chestnuts 
in the tureen, and pour the soup over." Steak and Chestnuts 
is a capital food combination for completing recovery after 
a long illness. Boil one pound of Chestnuts until they are soft ; 
remove the shells, and husks, and make the nuts smooth with a 
wooden spoon ; add to them one pound of very finely minced 
juicy beef (rejecting all skin, gristle, etc.) ; season the mixture 
with salt, pepper (red and white), and mustard to taste ; , also 
add half-an-ounce of grated parsley, one shalot (finely minced), 
and about a dessertspoonful of finely-scraped horse-radish ; 
make it into a paste with four or five eggs ; press it rather firmly 
down in a deep dish, and make pretty devices on the top ; lay 
little lumps of butter (about two, ounces altogether) here and 
there, and either bake it in a good hot oven, or roast it before 
the fire ; it should be of a warm, brown colour, and must be 
served very hot. 

Professor Andrew Smith, of New York, found that roasted 
Chestnuts, when eaten, signally lessen the quantity of albumin 
in the urine of patients sufiering from what is known as Bright's 
disease of the kidneys, this effect being largely due to the tannic 
acid which the Chestnuts contain. " Take some Chestnuts, 
and make a small incision in the skin of each one ; throw them 
into boihng water, and let them remain until tender ; remove 
the shells, and skins ; dry the Chestnuts in the oven, and after- 
wards reduce them to powder by pounding in a mortar ; the 
powder may be made hot again, and then served as a vegetable." 
Similarly at St. Petersburg it has been shown that roasted Italian 
Chestnuts have a marked effect in diminishing the albumin 
excreted in the urine of such patients. A good way to cook these 



166 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Chestnuts is to boil them for twenty minutes, and then place 
them in a Dutch oven for five more minutes. " Zounds," 
cried Phutatorius {Tristram Shandy, Cap. xxvii., Sterne), "when 
a roasted chestnut, piping hot, rolled from the table into that 
particular aperture of his small clothes, for which — to the 
shame of our language be it spoke, — ^there is no chaste word 
throughout all Johnson's Dictionary; that particular aperture 
which the laws of decorum do strictly require like the Temple of 
Janus (in peace, at least) to be universally shut up." Americans 
consider sweet Chestnuts, and likewise leaves from the tree, 
excellent for staying the paroxysms of whooping cough. 
Continental confectioners dip the cooked nuts into clarified 
sugar, converting them thus into sweetmeats. The Chestnuts 
contain 50 per cent of starch. Californian Indians make a very 
hberal use for food purposes of the Horse Chestnut {Hifpo- 
castaneus cbscuLus), from which nuts they produce both porridge 
and bread, the flour being first well washed so as to extract the 
tannin from it, and then boiled like oatmeal ; or it is mixed 
with red clay so that the oil may be absorbed, and afterwards it 
is baked in loaves. In New England, as well as in this country, 
the Horse Chestnut, by its nut, supplies a most serviceable 
medicine against chronic constipation of the bowels, and for the 
cure of sluggish piles. 

CHICORY. (See Coffee.) 

The "Wild Chicory, or Succory (Cichorium), is an Enghsh roadside 
plant, with fiowers (white, or blue), and which is also called 
" Turnsole," a Sunfiower. Its fresh root is bitter, with a milky 
juice which is somewhat aperient, and slightly sedative ; whilst 
on good authority the plant has been pronounced useful against 
pulmonary consumption. In Germany it is known as Wegwort, 
" waiting on the way,", being by repute a metamorphosed 
Princess watching for her faithless lover. When cultivated, the 
root grows to.be large, and constitutes Chicory, as used abundantly 
in France for blending with the coffee berry. This plant when 
wild was known to the Romans in the days of Horace, being then 
eaten as a vegetable, or in salads : 

— " Me pasount olivae. 
Me ciohorea, levesque malvae." 

Virgil also tells of the Amaris iniuba fbris. And in modern 



CHOCOLA TE. 167 



days Tusser (1573), who was so well acquainted with the virtues 
and uses of our homely herbs, rhymes concerning " Endive and 
Suckerie " thus : — 

" Cold herbes in the garden for agues that bume, 
That ouer strong heate to good temper may turn." 

The " Violet plates," (or tablets), which were a favourite 
confection in the days of the merry monarch Charles the Second, 
were made not simply of sweet violets, but also the heavenly 
blue of Succory flowers entered into their composition. " Violet 
plate," it was said by a contemporary writer, " is most pleasant 
and wholesome, and especially it comforteth the heart, and 
inward parts." " The Violet is good to don in potage." The 
Succory was pronounced by Parkinson (who was physician to 
both Charles and James), to be " a fine cleansing, jovial 
plant." Its tap-root is cultivated in France. 

CHOCOLATE. {See Cocoa.) 

Chocolate is a paste, or cake, composed of the kernels of the 
Theobroma cacao fruit, ground up, and combined with sugar, 
vaniUa, cloves, cinnamon, and other flavouring substances : 
it is, in fact, ground Cocoa from which the fat has not been 
removed, mixed with white sugar, starch, and flavourings. 
The inferior varieties are made from unfermented beans. The 
Chocolate tree is the Cacao tree, and although its product bears 
the name of Cocoa, it is foreign altogether to the Cocoa-nut tree 
from which Cocoa-nuts are got. Cocoa, which should be spelt 
Cacao, is commonly associated by mistake with the Cocoa Palm, 
or Cocoa-nut Palm. Its genus is really that of the Cacao 
theobroma (food for the gods), the tree being a native of 
America, from Mexico to Peru. Its fruit occurs in egg-shaped 
pods, each of which contains from twenty-five to a hundred 
seeds imbedded in sweetish pulp. These seeds are the Cocoa 
beans, which become, when divested of their husks. Cocoa nibs ; 
and when groimd into a paste, sweetened, and flavoured, they 
make Chocolate, as already stated. The oil obtained from the 
seeds when expressed, yields a fat, which does not become 
rancid, and is known as Cocoa butter, being much used in 
pharmacy, because soHd at ordinary temperatures. The dry 
powder of the seeds, after a thorough expression of the oil, 
is broma. The crude paste is sometimes dried into Cocoa 



168 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

flakes. Cocoa shells are tlie husks , alone, from which a 
decoction is occasionally made as a beverage. Each of the 
above substances (the beans or seeds, the kernels, and the 
shells) contains the alkaloid theobromine, and is therefore 
of use as a substitute for tea, or coffee. 

Chocolate is the Cocoa powder mixed as described, whilst 
still containing the oil, ground up together with the sugar and 
flavourings (thoroughly incorporated) in a mill, and pressed 
into cakes, slabs, and fanciful devices. A beverage concocted 
therefrom was the customary breakfast drink in the early part 
of the eighteenth century. By the Tatler of that date we are 
told that the fops of the period took their Chocolate in their 
bedrooms, clad in their dressing-gowns, (" and green tea two 
hours after "). Chocolate was first used as a beverage in England 
about 1657, and was very popular in the time of Charles the 
Second. But Cacao (the Chocolate fruit) had been employed 
for making a beverage therefrom by the Mexicans for ages 
before their country was conquered by the Spaniards. 

There are four widely-separated vegetable products which 
are variously comprehended under the names Cacao, Cocoa, 
Coca, and Coco. Concerning the first of these. Cacao, a full 
explanation has been given above. The second, or Cocoa-nut, 
is produced by the Cocoa-nut Palm, and is not connected in any 
way with the beverages Chocolate, and Cocoa (properly Cacao). 
This is a large tree bearing bunches of Cocoa-nuts (filled with 
a milk) from ten to twenty in number, within rough, fibrous, 
woody outer coats. The third. Coca, or Cuca, is produced from 
a shrub, native in the Andes, with brilliant green leaves, which 
create, when chewed, a sense of warmth in the mouth, whilst 
serving remarkably to stave off hunger, and to confer a wonderful 
power of enduring bodily fatigue. About the fourth, Coco, 
very little is known ; it yields a root which, when suitably cooked, 
is not unlike the sweet potato. 

Again, the Kola, or Java nut {StercuUa acuminata), is a tree 
of Western Africa, producing leaves which are now employed 
to a large extent as a nervine stimulant, and with marvellous 
powers of enabling fatigue to be sustained for a long time 
together. But during the stage of subsequent reaction the 
vital powers sometimes become much depressed, and the heart's 
action disturbed. Kola contains a considerably larger amount 
of caffeine than is found in the finest Mocha coffee. This caffeine 



CHOCOLATE. 169 



is undoubtedly a useful drug when employed judiciously in 
suitable cases, and in appropriate doses ; but if taken habitually, 
or in considerable quantities, it is calculated to stimulate the 
nerve centres in harmful excess. 

Cocoa of itself, without the addition of Kola, or Cuca, is a 
suflftciently restorative, and sustaining food, which, Uke good 
wine, " needs no bush." " Johnny Cope," says the British 
Baker (1902), " carried with him a supply of Chocolate when 
he went on his disastrous campaign which ended at Preston 
Pans. The Highlanders at SherifEmuir, on putting the EngUsh 
to rout, looted the carriage of the Commander-in-chief, wherein 
were found several rolls of brown material which was put into 
use as an ointment for dressing wounds ; and the find was 
actually sold as a specific for wounds under the name of ' Johnny 
Cope's salve.' A soldier showed some of it to a friend, who, 
to his utter dismay, put it into his mouth, and ate it. The 
friend was of more travelled experience, and had made the 
acquaintance of Chocolate before then." 

Spanish ladies of the new world love Chocolate to d'straction, so 
much so that, not content to take it several times a day, they even 
carry it to church with them. This practice has often called forth 
the censure of the clergy, but they have finished by winking at it, 
declaring that Chocolate made with water does not break a 
fast, and extending thus to the penitents the sanction of the 
ancient adage, " Liquidum non frangir. jejunium." Brillat 
Savarin declares that if, after a copious lunch, a large cupful 
of good Chocolate is taken, everything will have been digested 
three hours subsequently, and the appetite will be again in good 
order for dinner. Persons who drink Chocolate enjoy an almost 
constantly good state of health, and are but Uttle subject to the 
crowd of small troubles which spoil the happiness of life. To 
make Chocolate for immediate use, about an ounce and a half 
should be sufficient for a cup, and dissolved slowly in water heated 
over the fire, constantly stirring this with a wooden spoon. It 
must be allowed to boil gently for a quarter of an hour so as to 
give it consistence, and this must be taken hot. The Chocolate 
should be served in cups, and be sufficiently thick to be eaten 
with a small spoon, rather than drunk. It was used in this way 
by the Mexicans, except that they took it with golden spoons. 
" Chocolate in a red cup and saucer, to be eaten with a golden 
spoon, is, as we have tested, aesthetical perfection, both taste 



170 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

and sight being much, gratified with, the combination." The 
" Chocolate House " was in Mid-EngHsh days an estabUshed 
place of public entertainment. As told in The Tatler, " Lisander 
has been twice a day at the Chocolate House." 

For " Cocoa Cordial," take half a teaspoonful of Dutch 
Cocoa, with boiUng water, and two lumps of loaf sugar, also 
two tablespoonfuls of old Port wine ; put the Cocoa and sugar 
into a china cup, and pour directly upon them some boiling 
water, then add the wine, making in all an ordinary cupful ; 
serve it at once. This is an excellent drink for anyone chilled, 
or exhausted, or to take after a bath. 

The Cacao tree, or Cacaw tree, bears nuts of which the bitter- 
ness makes amends for the oily grossness of the kernels when 
converted into Chocolate, " carrying this off by strengthening 
the bowels." " So great a value do the people of Mexico, Cuba, 
and Jamaica attach to these nuts that they do use the kernels 
instead of money both in their traffic, and rewards." In the 
Natural History of Chocolate (London, 1682) its wonderful use 
as a sexual restorative is dwelt on explicitly. " Had Rachel 
known Chocolate she would not have purchas'd mandrakes 
for Jacob. If the amorous and martial Turk should ever taste 
it he would despise his opium." 

The Palm tree {Cocos nucifera), which produces what are 
most commonly known as Cocoa-nuts, is common almost every- 
where within the tropics. While the nut is growing it contains 
nothing but a milky Uquor, but as it ripens the kernel settles 
like soft cream around the inside of the shell, and increases in 
substance until it becomes hard. The milk whilst young is very 
pleasant to drink, but becomes sharper, and more cooling when 
older. The kernel is sweet, and very nourishing, but not easy 
to be digested. The milk of the Cocoa-nut contains sugar, gum, 
albumin, and some mineral salts. The kernel consists of fatty 
matter (from which an oil is to be obtained) ; also it comprises 
albumin, gluten, sugar, mineral salts, and water. Grated 
Cocoa-nut with fine sugar sifted over it makes an admirable and 
useful dessert dish. An excellent vegetable butter is to be- had 
from the fresh Cocoa-nut, which can take the place with persons 
of poor digestive powers as to fatty matters — of butter, dripping, 
margarine, or lard ; this vegetable butter is tasteless, and when 
melted does not forjn any sediment. A Cocoa-nut weighing 
one and a quarter pounds contains a quarter of a pound of fat, 



CIDER. 171 

so that as a soiirce of fat it is " equivalent to butter at eightpence 
a pound." 

For making " Cocoa-nut drops," to a grated Cocoa-nut add 
half its weight in sugar, and the white of one egg beaten stiff ; 
drop small pieces on a buttered paper, and sift sugar over 
them ; bake for fifteen minutes in a slow oven. Again, 
for " Cocoa-nut toffee," take a fresh Cocoa-nut, and a pound 
of sugar ; grate the interior of the nut, and boil the sugar 
with its milk mixed with a cupful of water ; when nice and thick 
add the grated Cocoa-nut ; stir all the time till you see it coming 
off quite clear from the sides, then remove from the fire ; grease 
the dishes on which you pour it ; mark it out in squares with 
the back of a knife, and let it get cold, when it will be pronounced 
" very good." 

CIDER. (See Apple.) 

Cider (or " Cyder," an early form of the word) is the juice of 
apples which has been fermented advisedly. It contains about 
the lowest percentage of alcohol of all popular fermented drinks. 
Unhke beer, or any other malt Hquor, it acts as an antidote to 
gout, and to uric acid rheumatism. Vintage apples, as used 
for making Cider, contain more tannin than the table fruit, 
and this imparts tonic properties to the liquor apart from its 
general astringent principle. Moreover, Cider districts enjoy 
a remarkable immunity from disorders of a choleraic nature, 
and it is within the repeated experience of Cider drinkers that 
gout and rheumatism fly before this hquor. Chemically the 
sub-acid juices of the apples become converted by combustion 
within the body into alkahne salts, which neutralize all the 
gouty elements wherewith they meet. A good Cider contains 
a considerable quantity of potash, and soda, so that from 
drinking it there is almost no acid resultant within the body. 
" It will beggar a physitian," wrote Austen, " to live where 
Cider and Perry are of general use." In making sweet Cider 
the fermentation is artificially arrested, so that the amount of 
alcohol which becomes created is very small, and some free sugar 
remains still in solution ; therefore this sweet Cider is not so 
wholesome for rheumatic persons as the rough Cider with its 
fermentation finished, and no sugar remaining. Medical 
testimony goes to show that in countries and districts where 
natural Cider is the common beverage; stone in the bladder is 



172 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

quite unknown. A series of enquiries among . the doctors of 
Normandy (which is a great apple country, where Cider is the 
chief, if not the sole, drink) has established the fact that not a 
single case of the nature in question ha4;j3^n met with there 
throughout forty years ; so that it may fairly be credited that 
the habitual use of natural unsweetened Cider serves to keep 
held in solution materials which are otherwise liable to be 
separated, and deposited in a sedimentary form by the kidneys. 
Again, Cider drinkers during epidemics of cholera havfe been 
found to singularly escape the disease. Cider being powerfully 
antiseptic because of its methyl-aldehyde. 

Nowhere is the subtle, time-honoured, fragrant perfume of 
the apple more noticeable than when its expressed juice is, being 
wooed into Cider. There is something peculiarly national in 
the sweet, rich, fascinating scent, the very same as was inhaled 
by our ancestors far rernote, and "under the influence of which 
we can see the misty forms of Bard and Druid as they gave their 
blessing to the sacred apple tree. Again we get a romantic 
vision of fighting kings, and dauntless chieftains ; beneath the 
shade of hoar apple trees Harold of England stands, and falls ; 
in the calm of orchard lawns by Avalon, the Island of Apples, 
sleeps Arthur — " Rex quondam, et Rex futurus." It was 
customary of old for apples to be blest by priests on July 25th ; 
and in the Manual of the Church of Sarum a special form of ser- 
vice for this purpose is preserved. Furthermore it is now stated 
as an incontrovertible fact that cancer is almost a thing unknown 
among regular Cider drinkers. In Normandy fermented apple- 
juice is the general beverage of the people ;. it is locally known 
as " piquette," being quite pure, and unsweetened, as the simple 
juice of the fruit diluted. But the doctors there denounce this 
particular liquor for rheumatic, or gouty persons. In Devonshire 
the countryfolk distil a coarse kind of spirit from Cider-dregs, 
calling this " Still-liquors," as locally reputed to be " rare giide 
physic vur asses and bullicks ; 't'ath abin knawed tii cure tha 
boneshave (sciatica) in man ; 'tiz cabbical stiifE tii zettee up 
'pon a cold night." 

" But," writes Evelyn (1729), " to give Cider its true estimation, 
besides that it costs no fuel to brew it, and that the labour is 
but once a year, it is good of a thousand kinds, proper for the 
cure of many diseases, a kind vehicle for any sanative vegetable, 
or other medical ingredients ; that of Pippins a specific for the 



CIDER. 173 

consumption ; and generally all strong and pleasant Cider 
excites and cleanses the stomach, strengthens the digestion, 
and infallibly frees the kidneys and bladder from breeding the 
gravel, and stone, especially if it be of the genuine Irchin-field 
Red Strake (the famous Red Strake of Herefordshire, and 
surnamed the Scudamore's Crab), not omitting how excellently 
it holds out good many years to improvement if fuU-body'd and 
strong, even in the largest and most capacious vessels ; so as 
when for ordinary drink our honest countrymen and citizens 
shall come to drink it moderately diluted (as now they do 
six-shilling beer in London and other places) they will find it 
marvellously conduce to health ; and labouring people, where 
it is so drunk, affirm that they are moie strengthen'd for hard 
work by such Cider than by the very best beer." " Innumerable 
are the virtues of Cider, as of Apples alone, which being raw-eaten 
relax the belly, especially the sweet, and their concoction ; 
depress vapours ; being roasted, or coddled, are excellent in raw 
distempers, resist melancholy, spleen, pleurisy, strangury, and, 
being sweeten'd with sugar, abate inveterate colds. These are 
the common efiects even of raw Apples ; but Cider performs 
it all, and much more, as more active, and pure. In a word, 
we pronounce it for the most wholesome drink of Europe, as 
specially sovereign against the scorbute, the stone, spleen, and 
what not." 

Cider nowadays is brought to such perfection at the regular 
Cider-factories, that not more than 4 per cent of alcohol need 
be contained in the liquor thus manufactured. Apples are 
chosen carefully (whereas heretofore the farmers took all, and 
sundry), the pulp is treated by hydraulic pressure, and the 
juice runs into barrels with the fermentation accurately regulated, 
while finally the Uquid is filtered through sterilized cotton-wool, 
and thus the Cider becomes a most safe drink, even for gouty 
persons ; this last fact is of great pubhc importance, seeing that 
almost everyone is in the present day a victim more or less to 
uric acid. The chief fruit acid in Ciders is mahc, whilst analysis 
shows also the presence of sahcyhc acid, formaUn, and other 
chemical constituents. The Latin name was Pomaceum. Cider 
apples were originally introduced by the Normans, and the 
beverage began to be brewed in 1284. The Hereford orchards 
were first planted in the time of Charles the First. Old, natural 
Cider invariably forms a shght deposit, or crust, at the bottom 



174 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of the bottle. A bin of Cider over forty years old has been 
found perfectly sound for drinking. 

"^When apples are late in the season, or dry, for making them 
into a good apple-tart the addition of a little Cider to the fruit 
before cooking is a capital thing to do. It is stated in Kitchen 
Physic " that old Martin Johnson, the Puritan Vicar of Dilwyn, 
Herefordshire (1651-1608), bore impartial testimony as follows : 
' This parish, wherein Syder is plentifuU, hath, and doth afiorde, 
many people that have and do enjoy this blessing of long life. 
Neither are the aged here bedridden, or decrepit, as elsewhere, 
but for the most parte lively, and vigorous. Next to God wee 
ascribe it to our flourishing orchards ; they do yield us plenty 
of rich and winy liquors, which long experience hath taught do 
conduce very much to the constant health, and long lives of our 
inhabitants, the cottagers.' " A wholesome Cider drink for 
summer use by persons disposed to gout is Skimmery (St. Mary 
Cup) : One bottle of soda-water, one quart of Cider (not sweet), 
one liqueur-glass of Old Tom, or of good gin highly impregnated 
with juniper, lemon-peel, borage, or cucumber, but no sugar, 
and no other ingredient ; add ice enough to cool thoroughly. 
In WiokUfEe's version of the New Testament his rendering of 
Luke i. 15 as to what the angel says to Zacharias, alluding 
to his promised offspring, runs thus : " He shall not drink wine 
nor Cyder " (the latter being a variation from " strong drink "). 
Wickhfie, as representing the Engl'sh feeling of the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries, clearly viewed Cider much in the same 
light as the fermented juice of the grape. The Eoman poets 
make no reference to Cider as a drink of their time. It is in 
French records we meet with the earliest vestige of the Cider- 
making industry. Our Eoger Bacon (1260) talked of Cider and 
Perry as notable beverages in sea-voyages ; he explained that 
the Cider of his day did not turn sour in crossing the Une, and 
was wonderfully good against sea-sickness. But Tennyson, 
in the Voyage of Maddune, has powerfully depicted the madden- 
ing efEects which may follow a riotous indulgence in liquors 
fermented from apples, and other saccharine fruits : — 

" And we came to the Isle of Fruits ; all round from the cliffs, and the capes. 
Purple or amber dangled a hundred fathoms of grapes ; 
And the warm melon lay like a sun on the tawny sand ; 
And the fig ran up from the beach, and rioted over the laud. 
And the mountain arose like a jewelled throne thro' the fragrant air. 
Glowing with aU-ooloured plums, and with golden masses of pear. 
And the crimson, and scarlet of berries that flamed upon bine and vine ; 
But in every berry and fruit was the poisonous pleasure of wine. 



CINNAMON. 175 

And the peak of the mountain was apples, the hugest that ever were seen. 
And they prest, as they grew, on each other, with hardly a leaflet between ; 
And all of them redder than rosiest health, or than utterest shame. 
And setting, when even descended, the very sunset aflame. 
And we stayed three days, and we gorged, and we maddened, till everyone 

drew 
His sword on his fellow to slay him ; and ever they struck, and they slew ; 
And myself I had eaten but sparely, and fought till I sundered the fray ; 
Then I bade them remember my father's death, and we sailed away." 



CINNAMON. 

What we employ as Cinnamon from the spice-box consists, 
when genuine, of the inner bark of shoots from the stocks of a 
Ceylon tree. This bark contains cinnamic acid, tannin, a 
particular resin, a volatile fragrant oil, and sugar. The 
aromatic, and restorative cordial effects of Cinnamon have been 
long known in this country. It was freely given in England 
during the epidemic scourges of the early and middle centuries, 
nearly every Monastery keeping a store of the medicament for 
ready use. The monks administered it in fever, dysentery, 
and contagious diseases. Of late it has been shown in the 
Pasteur Laboratory at Paris that Cinnamon actually possesses 
a special power of destroying bacterial germs of diseases. M. 
Chamberland declares, " No disease germ can long resist the 
antiseptic power of essence of Cinnamon, which is as effective 
to destroy microbes as corrosive sublimate." One of the 
assistants at the Pasteur Institute in Paris some years ago, after 
many experiments with other probable germicides which proved 
unsuccessful, found at last that the moment the aroma of the 
essential oil of true Cinnamon (not cassia) came in contact with 
microbes in a glass tube, they fell down in shoals to the bottom 
of the tube, either stupefied, or killed. (He observed the same 
thing happen, but more slowly, if the tube was exposed simply 
to the rays of brilHant sunshine.) It is an established fact that 
those persons who inhabit Cinnamon districts have an immunity 
from malarious diseases. And our ancestors, as it would appear, 
hit upon a valuable preservative against microbes when they 
infused Cinnamon (with other spices) in their mulled drinks. 
By its warming astringency it exercises cordial properties which 
are most useful in arresting passive diarrhoea, and in relieving 
flatulent, cold indigestion ; from ten to twenty grains of the 
powdered bark may be given for a dose in such cases. Against 



176 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



ill odours from decayed stumps of carious teeth, within a foul- 
smelling mouth, this should be rinsed out each night and morning 
with Cinnamon- water, freshly prepared by adding half a tea- 
spoonful of genuine Cinnamon essence to half a toilet-tumblerful 
of water ; thereby making an effective mouth- wash, and helping 
materially to prevent absorption into the blood of injurious 
septic matters which would engender rheumatism, and kindred 
toxic maladies. Another method for effecting the same salutary 
end may be copied from what used to be, and perhaps still is, 
practised by school-boys here and there — that of smoking pieces 
of Cinnamon bark instead of cigars, which would betray the 
offender by their forbidden nicotian odour ; but these fragrant 
substitutes are hard to " draw." 

The volatile oil of Cinnamon has to be procured from the bark, 
and makes with spirit a convenient essence, or tincture ; being 
useful further for preparing an aromatic water of Cinnamon. 
For a sick, qualmish stomach either form of Cinnamon is an 
excellent remedy. Cinnamon bark by its astringency will also 
serve to stay bleeding from the bowels, likewise nose-bleeding, 
and uterine fluxes. A teaspoonful of the bruised and powdered 
bark should be infused in half a pint of boiling water, and a 
tablespoonful of the same, when cool, is to be taken frequently. 

Parenthetically it may be told here that, though not esculent, 
except when made into a tea by infusion with boiling water, 
one of our very common English wayside weeds, the small 
Shepherd's Purse [Bursa Gafsella Pastoris), is likewise singularly 
useful for arresting bleedings, and floodings ; it is eminent 
among our most reliable remedies for staying fluxes of blood. 
The herb contains a tannate, and bursinic acid, as its active 
medicinal principles. Its tea should be made from the fresh 
plant, first bruised, and is to be taken a teacupful at a time 
every two, three, or four hours, as required. " Shepherd's 
Purse stayeth bleeding in any part of the body, whether the 
juice thereof be drunk, or whether it be used poultice-like, or 
in bath, or any way else." It further bears the name of Poor 
Man's Permacetty, " the sovereignst remedy for bruises." And 
in some parts of England the Shepherd's Purse is known as 
" Clapper Pouch," alluding to the licensed begging of lepers 
at our crossways in olden times, with a bell, and a clapper. 
They would call the attention of passers-by with the bell, or 
with the clapper, and would receive from them alms in a cup, 



CINNAMON. 177 



or basin, at the end of a long pole. The clapper was an instru- 
ment made of two or three little boards which could be noisily- 
rattled together so as to incite notice. Thus the wretched 
lepers obtained the name of Eattle Pouches, which appellation 
has become extended to this small plant, bearing a reference 
to the diminutive purses which it hangs out along the pathway. 
Lady Paget, when interviewing at Bologna Count Mattaei, 
of the " seven marvellous medicines," gathered the knowledge 
that this Shepherd's Purse furnishes the so-called " blue 
electricity," of surpassing virtue for controlling haemorrhages. 
The juices expressed from the fresh herb can be simmered down 
with sugar until thickened to a liquid extract, and taken thus, 
one teaspoonful for the dose. English druggists now prepare, 
and dispense, a fluid extract of this herb. Its popular names 
are "Case Weed," "Pickpocket," "Mother's Heart," and 
" Toy-wort." 

The term Cinnamon is connected with " quineh," a reed, or 
cane. Dr. Tobias Venner wrote (1620) in his Recta via ad vitam 
longam : — " From one pound of Cinnamon (grossly beaten), 
a pound of white sugar, a gallon of sack, and a quart of rosewatei, 
steeped together for twenty-four hours, may be drawne by 
distillation a water of singular efficacie against sowning (swooning) 
debiUtie of the spirit, and the princepall parte. Wherefor 
I wish every man that is respective of his health and life, 
especially such as are of vieake nature, never to be without it, 
and to take now and then a spoonfull or two, especially when 
occasion shall instant the use of it; then take powder of 
Synamome, and temper it with red wyne." " For fragrance 
of smell, and jucunditie of taste Cinnamon excelleth all other 
spices ; it strengtheneth the stomacke, preventeth and correcteth 
the putrefaction of humors, resisteth poysons, exceedingly 
comforteth the principall parts, especially the heart, and hver, 
and reuiueth the spirits. It is convenient for all bodies, 
especially for them that are of cold and moyst temperature, 
and that have weake stomackes." St. Francis of Sales has 
said, in his Devout Life, with respect to the labour of teaching, 
" It refreshes and revives the heart by the sweetness it brings 
to those who are engaged in it, as the Cinnamon does in Arabia 
Fehx to them who are laden therewith." 

For a dozen or more years past Cinnamon has been successfully 
employed as a specific abortive of the influenza poison, only 

1^ 



178 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

provided its free use is commenced medicinally within a time- 
limit of twenty-four hours after the first access of an attack ; 
otherwise the toxication of the whole system has advanced 
beyond the power of this remedy for scotching the parent virus 
of the invading disease. " For this purpose," says Dr. J. C. 
Ross, of Manchester, " five drops of the true oil of Cinnamon 
with a tablespoonful of water, every hour or two, for six or eight 
doses, will promptly and effectually exterminate the enemy." 
Again, Dr. Ross has found that when treating scarlet fever by 
Cinnamon, he escaped the incidence of complications which so 
frequently occur. He gives a strong decoction of the bark, 
at first every hour, and then every two hours, until the tempera- 
ture falls to normal, whilst making the patient also use the 
decoction as a gargle. Likewise for proving remedial against 
cancer. Cinnamon has gained credit with Dr. Ross, in accordance 
with a reputation revived from former days. He reports success 
from a steady use of the strong decoction, hall a pint being taken 
daily. He orders of this decoction (two pints of boiling water 
on a pound of stick Cinnamon, boiled slowly down to twenty-five 
ounces, and poured ofi without straining) half an ounce, or one 
ounce, with water. 

Cinnamon is also of undoubted benefit for consumptive 
patients by aborting the bacillary germs, and by preventing 
the infection therewith of fresh lung portions. The cough and 
the expectoration improve, the temperature becomes normal, 
and the weight begins to increase, whilst the number of disease- 
germs found microscopically in the expectorated matters 
gradually diminishes. In this way the disease may be limited 
to small areas, and presently cut ofi from the general system by 
the fibrous tissue of cicatrization. Similarly the malady known 
as mumps (a specific painful swelling of the glands — " parotid " — 
below the ears, and which is infectious) can be cut short by 
Cinnamon, if it be administered speedily from the commence- 
ment of the attack. It should be given in frequently-repeated 
doses of strong Cinnamon tea, freshly made, or by sucking 
concentrated Cinnamon lozenges if swallowing is difficult. The 
name " mumps " means mumping with a mouth hard to be 
opened, because of the painfully swollen glands at the sides. 

For many generations Cinnamon as a flavouring spice has 
been used exclusively with sweet dishes, and has been almost 
entirely excluded by the cook from savoury compositions. 



CINNAMON. 179 



Nowadays it is not uncommonly adulterated by adding ground 
walnut shells, or frequently Cassia is substituted for the genuine 
article. 

Seeing that the pneumonia, or lung inflammation, which prevails 
of late, particularly after influenza, is proved to be of a septic 
type, Cinnamon afiords promise of great remedial value as a 
sure germicide in this serious malady, which is often virulent in 
its character. In most cases it is due to toxic poisons generated 
by two or three special microbes, which underlie the whole attack ; 
and therefore germicidal, or antiseptic nourishment is essentially 
indicated. During the first feverish stage an easy bed, absolute 
rest, and good nursing are indispensable, and no good purpose 
can be fulfilled by giving substantial, or very stimulating food. 
Measures for reducing the fever should be put into eSect, such 
as cool sponging of the body, or perhaps even making use of 
iced water externally for a robust subject. As a drink, equal 
parts of whey and egg- water will be very suitable ; for the latter, 
whip up the whites of from two to four eggs to a froth, stirring 
them presently into a pint of cold water, and finally straining. 
This albuminate serves to replace the casein of the milk, which 
has been separated as curd in making the whey. Milk-whey 
is to be made by adding one part of fresh butter-milk to two 
parts of warm milk in a saucepan over a slow fire. If a slight 
stimulant should prove needful, wine-whey may be given, or 
egg-flip is a good compound for the purpose, being a food as well as 
a cordial. " Whip up the yolk of a fresh egg, sprinkhng a little 
powdered white sugar on it, and then adding from a teaspoonful 
to a tablespoonful of whisky, or brandy, and finally pumping 
«oda-watet from a syphon upon the mixture in a tumbler." The 
natural history of pneumonia shows that unless septic compli- 
cations arise, the inflammatory process comes to an end about 
the sixth or seventh day, with the salutary occurrence of profuse 
sweating, or of some diarrhoea, which are efforts to throw ofi 
the morbid material out of the system. But pneumonia is 
always hazardous to elderly persons, especially after influenza ; 
also to intemperate subjects. In the drunkard this seizure is 
almost of a certainty deadly. Double pneumonia in a drunkard 
is absolutely fatal : there is no chance for him. But in a young 
man, or young woman, previously healthy^ simple pneumonia 
is usually recovered from. The particular causative microbe. 
Micrococcus lanceolatus, whilst often present in the mouth, even 



180 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of a healthy person, becomes capable under certain conditions 
of developing this dangerous disease. Unfortunately a sudden 
collapse is not uncommon even when things seem to be doing 
well ; but as a rule the active symptoms subside as quickly as 
they manifested themselves. Frequently in aged persons, as 
the attack progresses, the lungs become obstructed by exudations 
into the air-cells, and a failure of heart-power ensues. For 
meeting this grave condition the inhalation of oxygen is all- 
important, so as to sustain the strength, and the Ufe ; also, 
furthermore, the medicinal administration of Musk is of splendid 
service in such an emergency. Pneumonia may be of a gouty 
character, and require alkaline antidotes. 

Some years ago Blackwood's Magazine told about a gang of 
thieves, including a soldier and his wife, at Gibraltar, who were 
discovered (to the astonished delight of an epicurean officer) 
roasting a stolen pig over a savoury fire kindled of purloined 
Cinnamon bark. 

For a Cinnarhon cake, take one cupful of granulated sugar, 
of butter a piece the size of an egg, one cup of milk, two cups of 
flour, one teaspoonful of cream of tartar, and half a teaspoonful 
of bicarbonate of soda ; mix, in the usual way, but sifting the 
soda J and the cream of tartar, together with the flour ; put in a 
shallow pan ; sprinkle with sugar and Cinnamon, and bake for 
about fifteen minutes in a moderately hot oven. In the Arcana 
Fairfaxiana Manuscrifta (a MS. volume of Apothecaries' Lore, 
and Housewifery, three centuries old, as used and partly written 
by the Fairfax family,) — it is commended " for the hiccough " 
to " drop a single drop of the Oil of Cinnamon on a lump of 
double refin'd sugar ; let it dissolve in the mouth leisurely, then 
swallow it. This is a most pleasant and agreeable stomach- 
med'cine, which seldom fails." 

GLARET. {See Wines.) 

CLOVES. 

Cultivated at Penang, and elsewhere, the Clove tree (Caryo- 
-phyllus), belonging to the Myrtle family of plants, produces 
flower-buds, which whilst yet unexpanded, constitute our Cloves, 
these having been dried, and imported. They contain a fragrant 
volatile oil which has the property of lowering nervous irritabihty, 
whilst yet acting as a pleasantly stimulating cordial. This oil 



CLOVES. 181 



consists principally of " eugenin," and " caryophyllin." The 
eugenic acid gives the strong odour of Cloves, being powerfully 
anti-putrescent, and antiseptic ; it will reduce the sensibility 
of the skin when applied extecnally, being mixed with lanolin, 
or sheep's wool oil, for such a purpose, to relieve eczema, and 
other eruptive disorders. Cloves also contain tannin, some 
gum-resin, and woody fibre. Among other reputed antidotes 
to cancer are Cloves, by reason of their germicidal essence ; 
whilst a similar virtue has attached itself in the popular 
mind to Cinnamon, Clover, Celandine, Comfrey, and other 
plant-remedies, because of supposed cures, even in desperate 
cases, by one or another of these medicaments. But the most 
recent authoritative pronouncement by experts engaged in 
persevering research as to the nature and arrest of cancerous 
disease, denies the existence of special microbes underlying' 
cancer, and concludes that it is a perversion of cell-growth, 
beginning at first in some single organ, and presently multiplying 
throughout the system. How to alter the morbid tendency 
is the crux of the whole matter. Sir WilHam Broadbent, in his 
address on Mediciij.e at Manchester (1902), put the problem thus : 
" Nature will sometimes cure cancer spontaneously. How does 
she do it ? This is for us doctors to determine, and to discover 
by patient research, and watchful observation. May not some 
particular endowment in common lie at the bottom of all the 
reputed remedies which have merited respect in their use ? 
Heredity as to the dire disease seems now to be disproved ; 
but hopelessness as to its cure stiU. occupies the rustic mind ; so 
it would appear, at all events in Devon : " Havee a yerd 'bout 
poor Liza Turner ? " " No ; what es et ? " " Why, tha poor 
dear sowl hath abin foced tu 'ave 'er buzzum a tiiked off, cuz 
'er got a cancer in un." " Aw, poor blid ! 'er won't live very 
long now then." " No, I rekkon." 

Dr. Burnett has taught (1895) that a too free dietetic use of 
Cloves will induce albuminuria, hke that of Bright's disease. 
When this disease comes on from other causes, Clove tea, 
rather strong, infused on the bruised Cloves, will sometimes act 
curatively, taking half a teacupful two or three times in the day. 
But if made use of too largely, Cloves will deaden the healthy 
tone of the stomach, lessen the appetite, and cause inactive 
constipation of the bowels. Half a tumblerful of quite hot 
water poured over eight or ten bruised Cloves, in a small muslin 



182 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

bag, (which, should brew for a few minutes on the hob, and then 
be taken out) will sometimes secure a good night to an uaeasy 
dyspeptic person, if taken immediately before lying down. 
Cloves are reputed to aid in preventing the deposition of 
scrofulous tubercle in any of the glands, in the lungs, and in 
joints. An essence of Cloves bruised in brandy may be prepared, 
and kept for steady use with this intention, giving a teaspoonful 
of the essence once a day, with a spoonful or two of water^ after 
some principal meal. Clove tea is excellent for soothing a 
qualmish stomach, and nausea. In Pickwick we read that 
Sam Weller and Job Trotter, at the Tap of the " Angel Inn," 
Bury St. Edmunds, " were soon occupied in discussing an 
exhilarating compound formed by mixing together in a pewter 
vessel certain quantities of British Hollands, and the fragrant 
essence of the Clove." Also in Love's Labour Lost " a Lemon 
stuck with Cloves " is told about with relish. Again, for its 
refreshing odour Miss Jenkyns (in Cranford, 1863) stuck an 
apple full of Cloves so as to be heated, and smell pleasantly in 
the sick chamber of Miss Brown, a sad sufferer ; and " as she 
put in each Clove she uttered a Johnsonian sentence." 

COCHINEAL. 

A RICH crimson dye is frequently used for kitchen purposes, 
being altogether harmless, as obtained from the Cochineal 
insect, dried, powdered, and infused, or made into a liquid 
essence. This diminutive, silvery-looking kermes, or insect, 
of West Indian origin, often supposed by mistake to be a small 
seed, is in reahty the parched, gUstening carcase of the Coccus 
Cacti, so called because making the Nobal Cactus its habitat. 
The insects are found thus in Mexico, New Grenada, and the 
Grand Canary, where the peasants who manage the nobaleries 
sweep the same three times in the year with the edge of a' 
feather from the broad lobes of this cactus, or "prickly pear." 
The diminutive bugs elaborate carmine within themselves ; but 
only the females are of service for this duty, chiefly whilst 
remaining unpaired. They are swept into bags of muslin, and 
plunged into boiling water, being afterwards dried in the sun, 
and packed in convenient parcels ; when examined in this state 
they closely resemble the striped seeds which hang on our 
" ladygrass " of the fields. The colouring principle of th^ 



COCKLES. 183 



Cochineal insect is carminic acid. When infused in water, and 
pressed, the tiny bodies exude a liquid of the purest ruby tint, 
perfect and superb ; but the dye taken from the second, and 
third sweepings of the Cactus is styled in the trade "black 
Cochineal," and is not worth more than one-fifth of the maiden 
product. Sir Edward Arnold, in stating lately that the insects 
fill themselves with ruby red Hquid from the lobes, and fruit of 
the Nobal Cactus, was mistaken, seeing that its juices are 
colourless ; and at Kew the director of the Cactus House 
represents his lack of acquaintance with any Cactus — Nobal, 
or other — which yields a coloured juice. 

Curatively the Cochineal has long been a popular remedy for 
whooping cough, and it would seem that this confidence is 
justified by facts. Austrian experimentahsts have found that 
large doses of the Cochineal dye will provoke a violent cough, 
occurring with spasmodic seizures, and with the characteristic 
in-drawing " whoop " of the breath ; whilst much smaller doses 
afford singular rehef to this distressing trouble when it attacks 
as epidemic whooping cough. The Cochineal insect also contains, 
besides fat, and carminii, a principle knov/n as " tyrosin" which 
specifically affects the kidneys ; whereby the medicament in 
much-reduced doses has effectually relieved cases of Bright's 
disease, and kidney-coUc, or congestion. The carmine is found 
in combination with phosphate, and carbonate of lime, muriate, 
and phosphate of potash, and stearine (the basis of wax candles). 
Rouge powder, used both on, and off the stage for giving a roseate 
complexion to the cheeks, is made by mixing half a pound of 
prepared chalk with two ounces of freshly-prepared carmine. 

COCKLES. 

The Cockle {Cardium), or " poor man's oyster," is, as is well 
known, a common, httle, bi-valvular shell-fish found buried in 
the sand of our sea-shores, particularly at Teignmouth, and on 
the Norfolk Coast. If the shell is viewed " end on," with the 
two curving beaks uppermost, it represents the shape of a heart 
(Greek, Cardia). The Cockle is discovered nearly all over the 
world. Its flesh is good, whether raw, pickled, boiled, or roasted, 
though very inconsiderable in quantity, — a pound of meat to a 
bushel of sheUs. This contains marine salts, gelatin, and food 
constituents of a salutary sort, with medicinal virtues like those 



184 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of the lobster. In the London Pharmacopoeia (1696) Cockles 
were said to " strengthen the stomach, increase appetite, excite 
lust, provoke urine, help the cholic, and restore in consumptions." 
Formerly to " cry Cockles " signified hanging, as simulating 
the gurgling noise made in the throat by the wretch thus 
strangled. " Hot Cockles " was a sport, or game, played at 
Christmas in Elizabethan times ; one person knelt, and laid 
his head, with his eyes covered, in another person's lap, then 
guessing who struck him. 

" As at Hot Cookies once I laid me down 
I felt the weighty hand of many a clown ; 
Buxoma gave a gentler tap, and I 
Quick rose, and read soft mischief in her eye." 

The name is derived from the French, " Hautes coquilles." 

COCOA {and see Chocolate.) 

The seeds of Theobroma cacao (a Mexican tree, as already 
described) contain a considerable quantity of nitrogen, but only 
from 20 to 30 per cent of animal nourishment (proteids), the 
remainder being " amides." The seeds are first allowed to 
ferment, and then roasted, their two halves coming out under 
pressure in a machine as " Cocoa nibs." When ground between 
hot rollers these nibs have their oil, or fat, melted, and they 
become reduced to a fluid condition, which is gradually dried, 
and then powdered as " soluble Cocoa." Dutch manufacturers 
add an alkah so as to saponify the fat. " Navy Cocoa " is a 
pure preparation free altogether from husk. Cocoa contains 
further some tannin, and is said (by Dr. Haig) to furnish when 
dry 59 per cent of uric acid, or xanthins, being therefore unsuitable 
for gouty persons. But the ash of Cocoa is strongly alkaline, 
consisting chiefly of potash, and phosphoric acid ; and the general 
conclusion is that, whereas out of each hundred pounds of Cocoa 
no less than three and a half pounds consist of pure vegetable 
salts, mainly phosphates, of high nutritious value, particidarly 
as alkalies, this article of diet is excellent for those persons who 
are given to the formation of uric acid as a gouty element. The 
whole bean is highly sustaining, with its fat, gum, starch, and 
albumin, besides the theobromin, having all the stimulating 
effects of tea without any harmful reaction. Cocoa contains 
nearly one-fifth of its full bulk as pure albumin, and in a state 



COD. 185 

of fine division lor being digested. But the action of Cocoa on 
the nervous system is much less pronounced than that of tea, 
or coffee, owing to the comparatively small amount of thein, 
or cafEein, which it contains. In St. James's Street, London, 
when Queen Aime reigned, there was a famous Chocolate house 
known as the " Cocoa Tree." Its frequenters were Tories of the 
strictest school. In the course of time it developed into a more 
general club. Dr. Garth whilst sitting there had his snufE-box, 
which was highly ornamented with diamonds, so repeatedly 
borrowed by the poet Rowe in order to gain notice, that at last 
he took out his pencil and wrote on the fid the Greek characters 
<1> (phi.): P (rho.) = "Fie, Rowe ! " 

COD. (.S'ee Fish and Oil.) 

The Cod is found by those who have made competent research 
to be one of the least digestible fish, though containing but little 
fat. Its fibre is coarse, and woolly, but Cods' heads baked in 
the oven are excellent. The ancient Greeks held the Codfish 
(Morrhua) in high estimation, preparing it with grated cheese, 
vinegar, salt, and oil. Its stomach (which it is said to have the 
faculty of turning inside out) is mostly found quite empty, and 
clean, as the result of its enormous digestive power, which habit 
has, without doubt, a great influence on the flesh, helping to keep 
it healthy, and well scoured. Cods' sounds, or the swimming 
bladder, do not dissolve as gelatine on boihng ; they are but 
sparingly nutritious, and more an object of fancy than useful 
as food. From the fresh livers of Codfish (subjected to a steam 
bath) is procured the highly curative Cod-Hver oil, considered 
elsewhere in these pages (see " Oils "). Par excellence it is of 
the most essential service as a food, and as a medicine, in 
pulmonary consumption. 

Underlying this scourge, which has hitherto proved so 
widespread, and fatal, there are now found to be special 
micro-organisms which die out under the modern open-air 
treatment, together with an abundance of generous food even 
to excess. Similarly an intensity of light will completely destroy 
the micro-organisms of erosive skin disease external to the body ; 
but the light for safe concentration upon such diseased surfaces 
has to be deprived of those rays which burn (red, green, and 
yellow), whilst it exercises its beneficent action solely by the 



186 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

ohemicaljrays (blue, violet, and ultra-violet). This grand 
desideratum has been made feasible by the ingenious method 
of Dr. Finsen, consisting of a plain glass lens, with a second lens 
of curved glass, between which glasses is interposed a bright blue 
solution of sulphate of copper, by which means the heat rays are 
got rid of, , Then the beam of intense cool light is concentrated 
on the diseased skin through a lens of quartz, which the nurse 
presses continually over the patch of morbid skin under treat- 
ment. In this way the ofEending microbes can be constantly 
killed off without discomfort to the sufierer, who has only to lie 
still under the process for an hour a day. This practice has been 
well tried, and produces marvellous results of cure. Long years 
back John of Gaddesden, a famous physician of his time, gained 
considerable renown for curing John, son of Edward the Second, 
who had contracted small-pox, by treating him with red light 
under such means as could then be contrived. He had the Prince 
laid in a bed with red curtains, red blankets, and a red counterr 
pane, giving the sick man sonie of the ruddy juice of pome 
granates to suck, and making him gargle his throat with 
mulberry wine of a like colour. This doctor, who died in 1561, 
wrote a quaint book which he called Rosa Medicince, containing 
curious old receipts for treating various maladies after the same 
fashion. 

COFFEE AND CHICORY. 

The Coffee Berry^ which we roast, and grind, for infusing as a 
stimulating, fragrant, refreshing drink, is got fiom the Cojfea 
Arahica tree, which produces a fruit resembUng a cherry, while 
the Coffee bean corresponds to the stone. This bean consists 
of two halves enclosed in a husk. Mocha Coffee, from Yemen, 
in Arabia, is reputed to be the best, being chiefly produced in 
Guatemala as both the " long berry " and the " short berry." 
Most " Mysore " Coffee comes from Java, and Ceylon. Brazil 
Coffee is used for mixing with other varieties. By roasting, the 
aromatic, highly fragrant oil " caffeol " is developed, to which 
the grateful odour of freshly-ground Coffee is due, and which 
is so powerful that a single drop of it will suffice to give fragrance 
to a whole room. One cause of the superiority of French Coffee, 
is its admixture with caramel specially prepared for the purpose ; 
another cause being the use of less water in making the beverage. 



COFFEE AND CHICORY. 187 

When Coffee berries are roasted, some portion of the caffein is 
volatiHzed, there being a partial change of the sugar (from the 
berries) into caramel, with a general breaking-up of the aromatic 
volatile oil, and the albumin cells, causing extrication of gas, 
and steam, and the development of a very potential and volatile 
aromatic substance, methylamine. 

" J'aime le cafe 
Chaud oomme I'enfer, 
Noir oomme le diable, . 
Et doux oomme un ange." 

With some persons strong Coffee will provoke an itching state 
of the skin. 

Caffein, the active nervine stimulant, and revivifier in Coffee, 
being practically synonymous with thein (that of tea), exercises 
its arousing effect more on the central nervous system, than on 
the heart, as tea does. It removes the sense of fatigue, but is 
apt to induce sleeplessness. Per contra, for the insomnia of an 
agitated mind, or body, with a perpetual forcing of ideas on the 
former, as hkewise lor alcoholic sleeplessness, a strong infusion 
of the Coffee berry whilst raw, and unroasted, will prove very 
helpful ; it must be freshly made with Mocha berries, and taken 
in doses of one tablespoonf ul at a time every half-hour, until sleep 
is induced. By Caffein the respiratory movements are made 
deeper, and more frequent, whilst the heart is indirectly stimu- 
lated to beat more forcibly. AU experiments go to prove that'' 
Coffee-drinking leads to waste of tissue ; this berry (the same as ' 
tea) is not a muscle-making substance. Whilst the volatile oils of ^ 
tea tend to dilate the superficial vessels of the skin, and to render 
it moist (cooling it by rapid evaporation in hot weather), Coffee 
has an opposite action. Tea-tasters are apt to become jumpy, 
starting on the slightest sudden noise, tremulous, hable to 
palpitation, sleeplessness, giddiness, and depression of spirits. 
Nevertheless, " Tea," said De Quincey, " will always be the 
beverage of the intellectual." It was the wakeful, exciting 
effect of Coffee berries, as observed by the Prior of a convent 
on goats, which first suggested their use as Hkely to keep the 
monks from falling asleep at their devotions. This influence of 
strong Coffee in producing excessive nervous stimulation, is a point 
weU deserving the consideration of total abstainers nowadays. 
After a while it tends to check the appetite, and to prevent sleep, 
thereby doing harm to persons liable to neuralgic affections, who 



188 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

need much, sleep. " They should shun Coffee as they would 
poison," says a leading medical authority. But the infusion 
does much less harm in very cold climates, also in very hot 
climates, than it works in England, or in the temperate parts 
of America. Persons exposed to severe cold, even in this 
country, are the better for taking CofEee in moderation, and it 
does not then over-stimulate them. " Cures have been wrought 
(Republic of Columbia) in the most severe cases of malarious 
fever, by using the husk of the Coffee bean, which will at times 
succeed where quinine fails. At first an infusion was made of 
the Coffee berry within the husk crushed together, and this was 
used with good results. Afterwards the infusion was made 
from the Coffee husk alone, with which some hundreds of cases 
were treated, a cure resulting in every case " {Lancet, October, 
1902). 

Coffee can also be taken ■ in other ways^ and in none 
better than in the form of jelly. " A clear Coffee jelly after 
dinner is every whit as good as the hot infusion, whilst free 
from the drawbacks of the latter ; moreover, the astringent 
principles of the Coffee are thus neutralized by the gelatin, 
which is at the same time an admirable proteid sparer." 

Dr. Thudicum advises that it is preferable in making an 
infusion of Coffee to unite the processes of boihng, and infusing : 
" Place the amount of Coffee which it is intended to use (less 
about one-tenth of its bulk, which quantity is to be reserved) 
into the vessel in which the boiling is to be done, and pour over 
this the measured quantity of cold water ; now heat it to boihng, 
and keep it thus for some minutes ; then take the vessel off the 
fire, and add to the hquid the reserved tenth part of the Coffee, 
and stir well in, but without boihng the mixture again ; let it 
stand for a f€W minutes, and then pour the Coffee on the filter 
(over a spirit lamp, if wishing it to be quite hot) — the liquid 
first, and the grounds last." 

Cold Coffee infusion made overnight, though a comfortless 
drink at breakfast, will serve, if needed, as an energizing douche 
to sluggish intestines, and will stimulate an evacuation of the 
lower bowel promptly after the meal. Persons in Germany 
who drink strong, hot Coffee to excess suffer from migraine on 
waking in the morning, with loathing of food, intense headache, 
and continual sickness at the stomach. The desire is for 
darkness, whilst the hands and feet are cold ; the pain seldom 



COFFEE AND CHICORY. 189 

ceases until evening. For an attack of similar migraine arising 
from other causes, it will be found very useful to take hot, strong 
Cofiee by the small teacupful every hour from the time of access 
until relief is obtained. A claim is advanced that the green, 
unroasted berries are helpful against disorders of the liver, and 
kidneys, — two parts of Mocha, and one part of Martinique, and 
Isle de Bourbon ; put three drachms of these into a tumblerful 
of cold water overnight, and, after straining the infusion next 
morning, take it whilst fasting. For obtaining a cordial drink 
from roasted Coffee, it must be made hot, and strong ; two 
ounces of the freshly-roasted and freshly-ground berry to a 
pint of boiling water is the smallest proportion which will give 
a good result. Three parts of hot milk to one of black CofEee is 
about the proper proportion for Cafd au lait. 

French Cofiee has hitherto been made with more or less 
Chicory in combination, and sometimes with burnt sugar also. 
This Chicory is the root of the Wild Endive {Cichorium intybus), 
kiln-dried, and broken into fragments ; the process of drying 
converts its sugar into caramel. As a rule French CofEee 
contains about one-third of its weight of Chicory, which gives 
a bitterish taste, and a dark colour to the brew. The chemical 
constituents of this Chicory, or Succory, are specially invlin, 
and a particular bitter principle not named. The root is fleshy 
and tapering like a parsnip ; it is cut in pieces, and dried in a 
slack oven, after which it is again cut in smaller pieces and 
roasted like Cofiee. Chicory when taken habitually, or too 
freely, causes passive congestion of the veins appertaining to 
the digestive organs within the abdomen, and a fulness of blood 
in the head ; indeed, if used in excess it may bring about 
blindness, because of paralysing the retina of the eyes. The 
only benefit of quaUty which Chicory gives to Cofiee is an 
increase of colour and body, but not by possessing any aroma 
of its own, or any fragrant oil, or stimulating virtue. French 
writers say it acts in an opposite direction, and is " contre- 
stimvlante," serving to correct the excitation caused by the 
active principles of Coffee ; and that therefore it suits persons 
who are by nationahty sanguineo-biUous, and who would 
otherwise be hable to habitual tonic constipation caused by 
their plain Coffee. On the contrary. Chicory is ill-adapted for 
those persons whose vital energy overpowers itself, and speedily 
flags ; whilst for lymphatic and bloodless subjects its use should 



190 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

be forbidden. Johnson (Chemistry of Common Life) teaches 
that " when taken in moderate quantities the ingredients of 
Chicory are probably not injurious to health, but by prolonged 
and frequent use they produce heartburn, cramp in the stomach, 
loss of appetite, acidity, constipation, with intermittent 
diarrhoea, weakness of the limbs, tremblings, sleeplessness, and 
a drunken cloudiness of the senses " ; "a most formidable list 
of accusations ! At the best, therefore. Chicory as an addition 
to, or substitute for, CofEee should only be used on infrequent 
occasions when the price is an object. The late Prince Bismarck 
stopped one day at an Inn on the borders of the Black Forest, 
and called for a cup of Chicory. The astonished landlord 
brought him presently about a gill. " This is all I have in the 
house," said he. " Are you sure ? " asked Bismarck. " Yes, 
mein herr." " Very well," said the Prince, throwing the stuif 
away ; " now make me some CofEee." After the Essex 
Rebellion (in English History) Queen Elizabeth was much 
troubled in mind ; every new message from the city disturbed 
her ; she frowned on her ladies, and kept a sword always beside 
her ; she touched nothing for two days but a cake, and then 
disregarded every dehcacy of food for a manchet (a roll), and 
plain Succory, or Chicory, pottage. 

A well-made infusion of freshly-roasted and ground Cofiee is 
often better as a restorative in fever than alcohol. Again, strong 
Cofiee will frequently prove successful for allaying paroxysms of 
asthma. Some doctors forbid Cofiee in gout, but without any 
special reason except as regards the cream and sugar served 
therewith ; though Dr. Haig (who evidently has a personal 
prejudice against each theobromic beverage) declares that Cofiee 
berries contain 70 per cent of uric acid, or xanthins. In 
Johnson's Chemistry of Common Life (1856) the case is told of 
a gentleman who was attacked by gout at twenty-five years of 
age, and had it severely at times till he was upwards of fifty, 
with chalk-stones in the joints of his hands and feet ; then the 
use of Cofiee was advised him, and completely prevented any 
further attacks. The French attribute to free Cofiee-drinldng 
their freedom from the gout due to uric acid deposits, with 
gravel, and derangement of the kidneys. It has not been 
determined to which of the Cofiee constituents this preventive, 
or curative action is due, but the behef in its efiicacy is 
confirmed by the fact that in a great Cofiee-consuming country 



COFFEE AND CHICORY. 191 

like Turkey, such gouty disorders of digestion and excretion 
are practically unknown. 

Coffee (and Cocoa) favour regular action of the bowels more 
than tea, because not containing so much astringent tannin. 
CofEee Houses formerly held in Great Britain a position somewhat 
similar to that of the Club Houses of the present day. Macaulay 
wrote : " The Cofiee House must not be dismissed with a cursory 
mention." It might, indeed, in his time have been not im- 
properly called a very important political institution. The 
CofEee Houses were the chief organs through which public 
opinion in the metropolis vented itself. Every man of the upper 
and middle classes went daily to his CofEee House, to learn the 
news, and to discuss it. Every CofEee House had one or more 
orators, to whose eloquence the crowd listened with admiration, 
and who soon became (what the journahsts of our own time have 
been often called) a " fourth Estate of the Realm " ; this was 
in the early years of the eighteenth century. In Pickwick we 
read amusingly about Cofiee-snufE, as taken at that period in 
substitution for the stronger weed. " Do you do anything in 
this way. Sir 1 " enquired the tall footman (at Bath, of Sam 
Weller), producing a small snufE-box with a fox's head on the 
top of it. " Not without sneezing," said Sam. " Why, it is 
difficult I confess, Sir," said the tall footman. " It may be 
done by degrees. Sir ; CofEee is the best practice ; I carried 
CofEee, Sir, for a long time : it looks very like rappee." Again, 
in another chapter we read concerning Mr. Jackson, the astute 
clerk of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, as showing his vulgar sagacity 
when questioned by Mr. Pickwick about a subpcena which had 
just been served on that gentleman : " Here Mr. Jackson smiled 
upon the company, and, applying his left thumb to the tip of 
his nose, worked a visionary CofEee-mill with his right hand, 
thereby performing a very graceful piece of pantomime which 
was familiarly denominated ' taking a grinder.' " 

Trelawney has described the making of Turkish CofEee 
correctly, thus (July, 1900) : " A bright charcoal fire was burning 
in a small stove. KamaUa first took for four persons four handf uls 
of the small, pale Mocha berries, little bigger than barley ; these 
had been carefully picked, and cleaned ; she put them into an 
iron vessel, where, with admirable quick'ness and dexterity, 
they were roasted until their colour was somewhat darkened, 
but the moisture not exhaled ; the over-roasted ones were 



192 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

picked out, and the remainder, while very hot, put into a large 
wooden mortar, where they were instantly pounded by another 
woman. This done, Kamalia passed the powder through a 
camel-hair cloth, and then re-passed it through a finer cloth. 
Meantime a Coffee-pot containing exactly four cupfuls of water 
was boiling ; this was taken off, and one cupful poured out ; 
and three cupfuls of the powder (after she had ascertained its 
impalpabiUty between her finger and thumb) were stirred in 
with a stick of cinnamon. When replaced on the fire, the pot, 
if on the point of over-boihng, was taken ofi, and struck by its 
heel against the hob, and again put on the fire ; this was repeated 
five or six times. I forgot to mention, she added a very 
minute piece of mace, not enough to make its flavour distinguish- 
able, and that the Coffee-pot must be of tin, and uncovered, 
or the decoction cannot form a thick cream on its surface, which 
it ought to do. After it was taken for the last time from the 
fire, the cupful of water which had been at first poured out was 
returned. The Coffee was then carried into the drinking room 
without being disturbed, and was instantly poured into the 
cups, where it retained its rich cream on the top. Thus made 
its exquisite fragrance filled the room, and nothing could be 
more delicious to the palate." 

For sea-sickness a cup of pure Coffee, hot, without milk, or 
sugar, is often successful. . (Dr. Mackern, who has made five or 
six voyages round the world, speaks in high terms likewise of 
charcoal, by taking two teaspoonfuls daily for a couple of days 
before starting on any long voyage ; then drinking plenty of hot 
water on the first day of the voyage, and afterwards resuming the 
charcoal— one teaspoonful twice a day as before.) For " Coffee 
jelly," soak half an ounce of gelatine in half a pint of water for 
an hour until it is dissolved ; then add a breakfast-cupful of 
strong, clear Coffee freshly made ; sweeten to taste, and put 
the mixture into a mould (adding a little brandy, if desired) ; 
serve when firm. For " Coffee syrup," choose good Mocha 
Coffee, and roast it antil it acquires a dark cinnamon colour ; 
grind it in a marble mortar, and pass it through a sieve ; put the 
powder into a jug, and pour boihng water over it, stirring it 
with a spoon ; then put two layers of parchment over the jug, 
and place it in a cool oven until the next day ; pour the infusion 
through a white piece of linen rag over an earthenware dish, 
squeeze the hnen well so that all the strength of the Coffee may 



COFFEE AND CHICORY. 193 



be secured, and pass the liquor through a filter. Then take 
double the bulk of sugar (clarified, and boiled till smooth), boil 
this to crack, and add the infusion ; allow the mixture to simmer, 
then take it off the fire, and put it when lukewarm into bottles. 
This CofEee syrup is a convenient beverage for travellers. If 
two teaspoonfuls are put into a cup, and boiling water is poured 
on, good CofEee can be thus quickly made. Sugar mixed with 
CofEee draws forth all its aroma ; and if mixed with Cafi au lait 
it gives a light, agreeable, easily-made food which admirably 
suits those persons who must work at the desk immediately 
after breakfast. The Turks, who are superior to all others in 
CofEee-making, do not use a mill for grinding the berries : they 
break the CofEee up in wooden mortars with wooden pestles, and 
when these have been for a long time in family use they become 
saturated with fine aromas, being therefore valuable, and 
commanding high prices. The undoubted opinion of experts 
is that Cofiee made with the pounded berry is better than that 
made with ground berries. With respect whereto a singular 
example may be given of the influence which this or that manner 
of manipulating can make to a food-substance : " Sir ! " said 
Napoleon one day to Senator Laplace, " how is it that a glass 
of water in which I melt a piece of loaf sugar appears to me to 
taste better than that in which I put the same quantity of ground 
sugar ? " " Sire," said the savant, " there are three substances 
of which the elementary constituents are exactly the same — 
that is to say, sugar, gum, and starch ; they difEer only by 
certain conditions, the nature of which has not been revealed 
to us ; and I beheve that it is possible the force exercised by 
the pestle causes certain portions of the sugar to pass into the 
states of gum, or starch, and occasions the difference of flavours 
to which you refer." This fact is fairly well established, later 
observations having confirmed the opinion of Laplace. 

Brillat Savarin says that " having tried all the customary 
methods for making infusion of Cofiee, he came to the conclusion 
that the process known as "A la Duhdloy " is the best. This 
consists in pouring boiHng water on the ground Cofiee, put into 
a porcelain, or silver vase pierced with very small holes. The 
first decoction is taken, heated again to boiUng, and passed 
through the Cofiee anew, when a beverage as clear, and as good 
as possible is obtained. 

Persons who can take Cofiee in the evening, or at night, 

13 



19i MEALS MEDICINAL. 

without being prevented thereby from sleeping, seem to need 
it also during the day for keeping them awake, and are 
pretty sure to doze during the evening if they fail to take 
Coffee after dinner. A still larger number of p^sons are 
sleepy all the day when they have not had their Coffee in 
the morning. Coffee is a much more energetic beverage than 
is usually believed. A man with a good constitution can hve 
a long time, and drink two bottles of wine every day ; but the 
same man could not take an equal allowance of Coffee for thfe 
same length of time : he would become' imbecile, or would die 
of consumption. It is a duty for all the papas and mammas 
of the world to severely interdict Coffee to their children, if they 
do not wish them to be old at twenty years ; this advice is 
specially offered to the Parisians " (Brillat Savarin). 

For persons liable to sluggishness of the liver, and of the biliary 
functions. Dandelion Coffee is prepared, and kept in stock by 
all the leading grocers. It is made from the dried root of the 
Dandelion plant {Taraxacum) of our fields and hedgerows, being 
used as a capital substitute for ordinary Coffee. This root is 
at its best in November. Its active constituents are taraxacin, 
and taraxacerin, with inuHn (a sort of sugar), gluten, gum, 
potash, and an odorous resin which is commonly supposed to 
stimulate the Uver. Dandehon leaves, when young and tender 
in springtime, are eaten on the Continent in salads, or, when 
blanched, with bread and butter. Again, a Dandehon wine is 
made for the use of persons with an indolent hver, because of 
the principle taraxacin, and the resinoid bodies contained in the 
iierb. Potassium and calcium salts are also present, which were 
formerly thought to make the Dandehon diuretic, and hence was 
derived its old Enghsh title — coarse, but significant— Piss-a-bed 

" When Willie was a little boy 

Not more than five or six, 
Right constantly did he annoy 

His mother with his tricks. 
Yet not a pin, or groat oared I 

For what he did, or said. 
Unless, as happened frequently, 

The rascal wet the bed. 

'Tis many times that Willie has 

Soaked all the bedclothes through, 
Whereat I'd rise, and light the gas, 

And wonder what to do. 
Yet there he lay, so peaceful-like : 

God bless his curly head ! 
I quite forgave the little tyke 

For wetting of the bed. 



CONFECTIONERY. 195 



Ah me ! those happy clays have flown ! 

My boy's a father too ; 
And little Willies of his own 

Do what he used to do : 
And I — ah ! all that's left for me 

Are dreams of pleasure fled : 
My life's not what it used to be 

When WiUie wet the bed." 

Lord Macaulay, when he retired from Parliament (1856), 
lived at Campden Hill, and took to gardening. He disliked 
dandelions singularly, and relates how he " exterminated all the 
dandelions which had sprung up since yesterday." Again, 
when writing to his m'ece, " Dear httle AUce," he tells her : 
" I have had no friends near me but my books and my flowers ; 
and no enemies but those execrable dandeUons ! I thought 
I was rid of the villains ! but the day before yesterday when 
I got up and looked out of my window, I could see five or six of 
their great, impudent, yellow, flaring faces turned up at me. 
' Only you wait till I come down,' I said. How I pulled them 
up ! How I enjoyed their destruction ! Is it Christian-like to 
hate a dandelion so savagely ? " Bergins says he has seen 
intractable cases of chronic hver congestion cured, after many 
o|;her remedies had failed, by the patients taking daily for some 
mlonths a broth made from dandelion roots sliced, and stewed 
! iA boiling water, with some leaves of sorrel, and the yolk of an 
These roots are in their best condition for yielding juice 
about November. During winter the sap is thick, sweet, and 
aljbuminous, but in summer time it is bitter and acrid. Frost 

uses the bitterness to diminish, and sweetness to take its place ; 
but after the frost this bitterness recurs, and is intensified. 
The whitened growth of a dandelion root when it has been 
blanched, and drawn out in length by having to become developed 
through a mole-hill, is much more sweet, and tender, and free 
from bitterness than if ordinarily grown. Parkinson writes 
(1640) : " Whoso is drawing towards a consumption, or ready 
to fall into a cachexy, shall find a wonderful help from the use 
of young, tender dandelion leaves, blanched, and eaten with 
bread and butter in the spring for some time together." 

CONFECTIONERY. 

Formerly there was made by the cook a rich syrup with the 
spicy aromatic Carnation flower contained therein, the same 



196 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

being used as a tasty sauce for puddings. This is the flower of 
Jove (Di-anthus), and it is redolent of cloves. Its second title, 
" Sops in Wine," was given because the petals were infused in 
wine to give this a spicy flavour, especially in the cup presented 
to brides immediately after the marriage ceremony. The 
blossoms are highly cordial, whilst the dried petals, if powdered 
coarsely, and kept in a stoppered bottle, are of service against 
heartburn, and flatulence, being given in a dose of from twenty 
to sixty grains. Gerarde says : "A conserve made of the 
Carnation flowers with sugar is exceeding cordiall, and wonder- 
fully above measure doth comfort the heart, being eaten now 
and then." By a mistake Turner designated the same flower 
" Incarnation." These flowers were thrown of old into casks 
of wine to give a pleasant taste, and a gallant colour. 

At the famous Mulberry Gardens planted in London by 
James the First (1609) — where Arlington Street now stands — 
were made the famous restorative Mulberry tarts which Dryden 
loved. But in Germany mothers disapprove of Mulberries 
for their children, and declare the devil wants the dark juicy 
berries for blacking his boots. An excellent Mulberry wine is 
sometimes brewed which retains all the remedial virtues of this 
fruit : " On each gallon of ripe Mulberries pour one gallon of 
boiling water, and let them stand for two days ; then squeeze 
all through a hair sieve, or bag. Wash out the tub, or jar, 
and return the liquor to it ; put in the sugar at the rate of 
three pounds to each gallon of liquor ; stir up until quite 
dissolved ; then put the liquor into a cask ; let this cask be 
raised a little on one side until fermentation ceases, and then 
bung it down. If the liquor be clear, it may be bottled after 
four months. Into each bottle put one clove, and a small lump 
of sugar ; and the bottles should be kept at a moderate tempera- 
ture. The wine can be used in a year from the time of bottling. 
The juice of Mulberries is curative of putrid sore throat when 
employed as a gargle, and the ripe fruit is somewhat laxative. 
The familiar game played by children " Here we go round the 
Mulberry bush " bore reference originally to the Bramble, 
or Blackberry bush, with its similar juicy dark-red berries. 
The Mulberry is not a bush. 

Violet " cakes " (already noticed) are of recent revival, 
being both nice, and with a reputation against cancer. " Take 
the juice of one lemon, and put it into a silver porringer, and 



CONFECTIONERY. 197 



add to it some sweet Violets ; then let it stand a night, and 
put to it some more Violets, and so stand until it be as deep 
coloured as you wish ; then take a spoonful of fine-powdered 
sugar, and wet it with the juice ; then hold your Spoon over 
a chafing dish of coles, stirring it ; smoak, but not boil ; take 
it off, and drop it into cakes (or medicated bon-bons)." " I 
want taiblet," said Wee MacGregor to his father. " Taiblet ! " 
exclaimed his mother ; "• Weans that gets taiblet gets ile after." 
From the flowers of the Sweet Violet ( Viola odorata) a conserve 
known as " Violet sugar," and dating since the time of Charles 
the Second (when it received the name of " Violet-plate "), has 
proved of excellent use in consumption of the lungs. This 
Sweet Violet is well recognized by its fragrant perfume when 
growing in our woods, pastures, and hedge-banks. The odour 
of the petals is lost in drying, but a pleasant syrup is to be 
made from the fresh flowers, which syrup possesses the sweet 
scent of Violets, and which is gently laxative for children. 
These homely blossoms are grown in abundance at Stratford-on- 
Avon (where more appropriately ?) for the purpose of making 
the syrup. Again, the same dark purple flowers give zest and 
beauty to a salad for the table. In Syria a special sugar is 
blended with sweet Violet petals for making Sherbet. The 
Rom'ans brewed an exquisitely-flavoured wine with Violet 
flowers, these being commended for nervous disorders, and 
epilepsy. A chemical principle, " violin," is contained in all 
their parts. When the plant is treated with spirit of wine as 
a tincture, this acts beneficially to reUeve a spasmodic cough, 
with tight breathing. Napoleon the Great claimed the Sweet 
Violet as his own particular flower, for which reason he was 
often styled " Le pere la Violette" this floral association dating 
from the time of his exile to Elba. The wild Violet, common 
on our banks, and in our pastures, is the famiUar Pansy, from 
the French " Pensie" " thoughts ; " (as Ophelia said, " There 
is Pansies : that's for thoughts "). The Pansy root has proper- 
ties almost identical with those of ipecacuanha, and is often 
used as an efiicient substitute for the same by country doctors. 
The whole herb contains chemically " violin," resin, mucilage, 
sugar, and the ordinary structural constituents of plants. 
This chenaical principle, " violin," as contained in the wild 
Pansy, or Violet, resembles " emetin " in action. As long ago 
as in 1653 to make " a poultess for a swelling " the wild Violet 



198 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



had a curative reputation. " Take a good handful of Violet 
leaves, and as much groundsel, of chickweed and mallows half 
a handful ; cut all these with a knife, and so seeth them well in 
conduit water, and thicken it with barlie meal, being finely 
sifted, and so roule it sure, and lay it to the swelled place, and 
shift it twice a day." It has been recently reported that a 
lady of title is grateful for cure from cancer through the applica- 
tion of Violet leaves ; the disease was in her throat, and so 
advanced that the case seemed hopeless, there being complete 
inability to swallow food. A cold infusion of the green leaves 
was kept constantly applied outside her throat on a compress, 
this being frequently changed afresh. At least a hundred years 
ago Violet leaves were held to be curative of the same dire 
disease. 

Reverting to the Sweet Violet, its petals are kept candied by 
confectioners as a pleasant and attractive sweetmeat ; also 
Violet jelly, and Violet fritters are made by the cook. In the 
fourteenth century Sweet Violets were among the ingredients 
commended for stuffing a roast hare. These perfumed flowers 
were formerly worn as amulets, or charms. The Violet was the 
symbolic flower of Athens ; in old Pagan days it was dedicated 
to Venus, but in modern folk-lore it is devoted to the Virgin 
Mary. A noted tamer of rattle-snakes died recently in America, 
having been accustomed to supply the zoological collections, 
and museums with " rattlers " throughout the world. He had 
been bitten scores of times, whilst his infallible cure was a poultice 
of Violet leaves. " I never saw anybody that looked stupider 
than you do," said a Violet (to Alice, Through the Loolcing-glass), 
so suddenly that Alice quite jumped, for it hadn't spoken before. 
" Hold your tongue," cried the Tiger Ijily ; " as if you ever saw 
anybody : you keep your head under the leaves, and snore away 
there till you no more know what's going on in the world than 
if you were a bud ! " The leading chemists now manufacture 
a liquid extract of fresh wild Violets from the flowers, and the 
leaves 

COOKKRY. 

Thb French ideal of a perfect cook is that he shall exactly 
understand the nature and properties of the substances which 
he employs, so that he may correct, or improve, such aliments 
as nature presents in a raw state. He must have a sound head, 



COOKERY. 199 



a sure taste, a delicate palate, and must never forget that 
" seasoning is the rock on which indifferent cooks make ship- 
wreck." This is to say, that in the sublime culinary art, sense, 
tact, and experience are better than the learning which only 
exhibits, and sometimes defeats itself, in over-elaboration, and 
costly excess. President Loubet, at the Culinary Show in 
Paris (1902), said to the assembled chefs, and scullions : " France 
is famous all over the world for her literature, her arts, and her 
Cookery. Thanks to French Cookery, plebeians like you, and 
me receive crowned heads at our tables. Continue, then, to be 
good cooks ; attend well to your sauces, and devote to them 
all your talent, so that they in return may heap honour upon 
yourselves." " The man," said Brillat Savarin, " who invents 
a new flat is a greater benefactor to the human race than the 
man who discovers a new planet." But a natural aptitude for 
the art of cooking must be possessed — " On pent devenir fruitier ; 
on est ne rotisseur." 

In the time of our Queen Elizabeth the red-nosed cook ruled 
omnipotent in big kitchens ; his sceptre was a rolling-pin, a 
case of knives swung at his side, and chests of spices were his 
crown jewels. Local dishes were then strictly retained. Devon- 
shire had its white pot, and clouted cream ; Cornwall its herring, 
and pilchard pies ; Hampshire was renowned for its honey ; 
and Gloucestershire for its lampreys. In 1750 the first public 
Restaurant was founded in France at Paris by a cook named 
Boulanger, over whose shop and dining rooms was displayed 
the Latin inscription, " Venite omnes qui stomacho laboratis, 
et ego restauraho vos " — " Come to me all you who are hungry, 
and I will restore you to comfort." 

Broadly speaking, it may be said that most forms of cooking 
actually lessen the digestibility of animal foods, and increase 
that of vegetable foods. Moreover, it is found by doctors that 
many sick persons can take raw, or much underdone meats more 
easily than other forms of nutriment. The general efiect of 
cooking on the structure of meat is to lessen the consistence of 
its fibres by converting into soft gelatin the hitherto firm 
connective tissue which holds them together, also to remove 
fat by melting it down ; the chief result of cooking on meat is 
to diminish its amount of water. That meat is rendered less 
digestible in proportion to the degree of cooking which it receives, 
is shown by the ascertained fact that three and a half ounces 



200 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of beef, when eaten raw, disappear completely from the stomach 
in two hours, whereas when half-boiled the meat has not 
disappeared until at the end of two and a half hours, nor when 
wholly boiled until three hours have expired ; when half-roasted 
it takes three hours to undergo digestion in the stomach, and 
when wholly roasted four hours. " Raw flesh," says Brillat 
Savarin, " though it sticks to the teeth, is not at all un- 
pleasant to the taste ; seasoned with a little salt it is 
readily digested, and is certainly as nourishing as in any other 
form.' 

The efiect of heat on the albuminous parts (proteids) of foods 
is to coagulate them, this being effected at about a temperature 
of 170° Fahr*-' or 42° below the boiling point. If the degree of 
heat employed in cooking goes beyond this, the value of the food 
is lessened by the hardening, and shrinking of the albuminous 
materials ; the importance of which fact in its practical application 
to cooking has long been recognized, though commonly neglected, 
or disregarded in efiect. In the cooking of vegetables the moist 
heat of the water, raised to nearly, or quite boiling point, swells 
up the starch grains, and ruptures their surrounding envelopes, 
so that the invading water makes a paste with the escaping 
starch, or a form of starch jelly. If green vegetables are cooked 
in any excess of water, their bulk is reduced, and their valuable 
mineral salts become dissolved away ; so that in this manner 
their nutritive value is considerably lessened, though perhaps 
their digestibility may be enhanced ; but their chief worth as 
food lies in their undiminished bulk, and in their mineral salts. 
When a cabbage, or carrot, or potato, is boiled, a large proportion 
of the soluble potash salts pass from the vegetable tissue into 
the water, which is generally poured away, and with it the 
precious elixir which is the true preventive of gout, rheumatism, 
lumbago, and rheumatic neuralgia. The French housewife's 
method of cooking vegetables is far more sensible, and excellent : 
by her the quantity of water used is so nicely measured as not 
to require any abstraction, but it forms a sort of emulsion of 
the juices with the oil, or fat, which she always adds at the right 
time, and in proper proportion. Vegetables should never be 
salted until they are nearly cooked, else they will be hardened 
by this addition. It is interesting to know that the advantages 
of slow cooking are well recognized by some savage tribes ; and 
in this respect the civilized cook has something to learn from 



COOKERY. 201 



them. For instance, the following is the method of cooking 
practised by the Kanakas, of the Friendly Islands : " A hole is 
scooped in the earth, and a fire is made therein with wood, and 
kept burning until a fair-sized heap of glowing charcoal remains. 
Pebbles are then thrown in until the charcoal is covered. What- 
ever is to be cooked is enveloped in leaves, then placed upon the 
pebbles, and more leaves heaped upon it. The earth is next 
thrown back into the cavity, and stamped well down. A long 
time is, of course, needed for the viands to become cooked 
through, but so subtle is the mode that to overdo anything is 
almost an impossibility. A couple of days may pass from the 
time of ' putting down ' the joint, yet when it is dug up it will 
be smoking hot; retaining all its juices, tender as jelly, yet withal 
as full of flavour as it is possible for cooked meat to be. No 
matter how large the joint is, or how tough the meat, this gentle 
suasion will render it succulent, and tasty ; and no form of 
civilized cookery can in the least compare with it. No better 
illustration of the advantages of slow cooking could well be 
found " (Hutchison, Cruise of the Cachalot). 

" We must bear in mind," as Sir Wm. Eoberts has taught, 
" that among civilized races the preparation of food for the 
table is carried to a high degree of practical effect. The cereal 
grains, for example, which are employed for making bread, are 
first finely ground, and sifted from the bran by the miller ; the 
flour is subjected, with the aid of moisture, and artificial heat, 
to a cooking process ; the meats and fish we eat are boiled, 
or roasted ; the vegetables we use are carefully deprived of their 
coarser parts, and are then boiled. All this preliminary prepara- 
tion and cooking, serve to make the food more capable of being 
thoroughly exhausted of its nutritive qualities. Even as it is, 
some waste occurs, and the faeces always retain considerable 
elements of undigested food. But it is obvious that if food be 
rendered too easy of digestion, there arises a risk that the nutri- 
ment wiU pass unduly quick, and wastef uUy, into the blood, and on 
through the tissues into the excretory organs ; so hkewise out of 
the body before this food has been made fully and economically 
available for the completion of the slow nutritive processes. 
Moreover, a sudden irruption into the blood of large quantities 
of newly-digested aliment would tend to disturb the chemical 
balance of that fluid, and thus interfere with the tranquil per- 
formance of its functions. A too rapid digestion and absorption 



202 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of food may be compared to feeding a fire with straw, instead of 
with slower burning coal. Thus is it also with human digestion, 
ourhighly-prepared and highly-cooked food requires in those per- 
sons who are healthy, and vigorous, that the digestive fires shall 
be damped down in order to ensure the economical use of food ; 
a slow digestion being quite a different thing from an imperfect 
digestion. The practice of the Irish peasant to underboil his 
potato so as to ' leave a stone,' as it is said, ' in the middle of it,' 
and the practice of the Scotch peasant to underboil his oatmeal, 
making his brose by simply pouring boiling water on the meal — 
both these processes are designed to enable the meal to stay 
the stomach for a sufficiently long period." 

Admirers of the Jewish mode of cooking claim for this a great 
wholesomeness, and adaptability to a weak digestion ; and it 
is certainly worthy of note that Christian children do not 
compare favourably with the Jewish in healthiness, longevity, 
and the power to resist disease. Their (Jewish) meat is most 
minutely inspected to ensure its cleanliness, and healthiness ; 
its slaughterer must be a practised hand, and make use only of 
the keenest weapons, as any bruising, or lacerating of the wound 
inflicted, renders the meat unfit for consumption. When forming 
combinations of their food they never mix milk, or its products, 
with meat ; to do which would be regarded by them as a breach 
of the precept, " Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's 
milk ; " the principle being that food killed by violence shall 
not be mixed with that which is rendered up peaceably ; such 
a mixture is an abomination ! Some persons who sufier from 
faulty digestion, having tried the Jewish system, affirm that it 
suits them much better, because mixed foods are disallowed ; 
so that healthier blood is made, and the whole vital system is 
purer (A. Blyth, 1884). Also, by the Jews a strict examination 
of the animal slaughtered for food is made straightway after its 
death, with the view of discovering-'whether anything was amiss 
with its condition of health before it was killed ; and many are 
the laws, and tests laid down by the Kabbis to this end, which 
is not by any means a mere formality. Thus, of the 21,000 
sheep which were slain in the second half year of 1900, no 
fewer than 6,000 were rejected as not wholly sound, and there- 
fore not " kosher " ; and the same strict precautions are taken 
with respect to other animals. " But what becomes of all 
these rejected animals ? " asked a representative of 



COOKERY. 203 



a 



Journal. " Oh," was the reply, " they are bought up by the 
Gentiles, and eaten by them ! " 

That man is essentially a cooking animal, is a fact borne<5^ut 
by the knowledge that cooking utensils have been discovered 
wherever human life has been found to have existed. We all 
believe that fingers were made before forks ; but it is not 
generally known that forks were in the first place constructed 
to imitate fingers — originally by the Romans with two prongs, 
as the finger and thumb, then as three fingers, and later on as 
the whole hand. The English people are indebted to one Tom 
Coryat for introducing the fork amongst them, because of which 
~^oon he was given the sobriquet " Furcifer : " Furca, being really 

pitchfork. {" Expdlas naturam furcd : tamen usque recurret.") 
Not until some time after the Restoration were forks in general 
English use. About Pepys' time each guest at table was expected 
to bring his own spoon and fork to a meal, and to use it through- 
out without change. During the sixteenth century, at a man of 
position's table plates could not be provided for all who sat 
down to the meal ; and the original trencher was a thick slice 
of bread on which the meat was placed, and which after being 
so used was given to the poor. And even as lately as at the 
beginning of the last century (1810) a bowl of coloured glass 
containing water was placed before each guest, at the end of 
dinner, and the women as well as the men stooped over it, sucked 
up some of the water, rinsed out the mouth, and swilled the 
water back again into the bowl. Such behaviour represented 
the extreme of table refinement amongst our most cultivated 
persons less than a hundred years ago. There is Biblical 
authority for telling how men, in ancient days, used to wipe 
the dishes (2 Kings xxi. 13) : " And I will wipe Jerusalem 
as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down." 
This would seem to show that of old the kitchen was not 
exclusively woman's kingdom. 

Lately a spirited comparison between English and American 
Cookery has been made in some of our leading journals. In 
Brooklyn Life, thus recently sang an unfortunate husband over 
the water :— 



' She's joined a class, and leam't to cook, 

Oh ! woe ! oh ! deepest woe ! 
She gets it out of a terrible book. 
And her biscuits eat like dough, 

Like dough. 
And her biscuits eat like dough ! 



204 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



I have to smile, and swallow her pies : 

Oh ! would that I were dead ! 
Her puddings boiled are a sad surprise. 

And I can't describe her bread, 
Her bread. 

And I can't describe her bread ! 

Poor little woman ! She does her best 

To make me a happy man : 
But I wish she'd love me, and leave the rest 

To our good old Mary Ann, 
'ry Ann, 

To our good old Mary Ann." 

In the St. James' Gazette (June, 1902) Marie Louise, the 
Belgian wife of an Englishman, asks : " Will England ever 
get its daughters to understand that Cooking is an Art (with 
a capital A), and a most interesting and pleasurable Art if 
properly taught and practised ? Alas ! I doubt if things 
will ever alter in such respect, for English girls are not built 
that way ; no matter of which class — upper, middle, or lower — 
they are not eager to learn, and therefore it is not only the 
Americans who are the sufEerers here, but England's own children 
become weaker and weaker every generation through that dire 
malady, indigestion." Dickens lets us know that in his day 
things were different : " Mr. Pickwick's landlady in Go swell 
Street was a comely woman, of bustling manners, and agreeable 
appearance, with a natural genius for cooking, improved by 
study, and long practice, into an exquisite talent." Nowadays, 
as quoth the Art of Cookery (1708) : — 

" The gentry take their cooks, tho' never tryed ; 
It seems no more to these than ' up, and ride.' " 

Henry the Eighth of England rewarded his cook by the gift of 
a manor for having composed a pudding of special merit. 
What a contrast do the following lines, pathetically true, present 
to-day :— 

" A woman there was, and she wrote for the press, 

(As you, or I might do). 
She told how to out, and fit a dress. 
And how to stew many a savoury mess ; 
But she never had done it herself, I guess ! 

(Which none of her readers knew ! ) 

Oh ! the hours we spent, and the flour we spent, ;^ 

And the sugar we wasted like sand, '' 

At the 'hest of a woman who never had cooked, 
(And now we know she never could cook, ■ 
„ And never did understand ! ) 



COOKERY. 205 



The frugal repast which Horace, the Roman Poet, provided for 
a neighbour whom he had invited, or for a guest whom rough 
times had constrained to seek a refuge with him, consisted, 
not of rare fishes procured from the city, but, more sensibly, 
of a fine pidlet, and a plump kid, with dessert to follow, of grapes, 
figs, and nuts. 

" At mihi cum longum post tempus venerat hoapes, 
Sive operum vacuo longum conviva per imbrem 
Vicinus, bene erat, non piscibus urbe petitis, 
Sed puUo, atque hoedo ; cum pensilis uva seoundas, 
Et nux ornabat mensas cum duplioe ficu." 

It is to be rioted that the object aimed at in cooking food is 
twofold : First, from an aesthetic point of view, to improve its 
appearance when it comes to table, and to develop in it new 
flavours ; second, with a hygienic purpose, to partially sterilize 
the food, thereby enabling it to remain longer sweet, and good. 
No animal parasite found in meat is capable of withstanding a 
temperature of 70° Centigrade (158° Fahr' ), therefore all ordin- 
ary forms of cooking will render meat free from this source of 
infection. Stewing is in many respects the ideal method for 
cooking meat ; it coagulates the proteids without over-hardening 
them, whilst none of the flavouring ingredients are lost, seeing that 
the juice is eaten with the meat. But it is a mistake to suppose 
that cooking increases the digestibility of all foods ; this is true 
only with respect to vegetable foods ; that of animal viands is, 
as already stated, diminished rather than increased by cooking. 

" The fundamental principle of all 
Is what ingenious books the relish call. 
For, when the market sends in loads of food, 
'Tis this in nice perfection makes it good." 

" Before each meal is served, or after it has been cooked, and 
eaten, the housewife," so a recent American authority teaches, 
" should add up the different amounts of proteid, fat, and 
carbohydrates found in the food ! Computing cards should be 
put into requisition at each meal ; then when the day is over you 
can find out whether you have taken too much of one kind of food, 
or not enough of another." With reference to this new scientific 
device the Chicago Tribune humorously puts the matter thus : — 

" Mother's slow at figures, but she always has to count 
The proteids, to make sure we receive the right amount ; 
She keeps a pad of paper, and a pencil, near the sink. 
And estimates our victuals — all the things we eat, and drink ; 
She lists our carbohydrates, and she scribbles down the fat, 
And our specific gravity — she closely watches that. 



206 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Mother's slow at figures, so our breakfast's always late ; 

The proteids, and the hydrates make the task for her too great ; 

We never get a luncheon, since she figures on till noon. 

And finds we've overdone it, and that nearly makes her swoon ; 

Mother's always tabulating every pennyweight we eat ; 

Except the meals we smuggle from the cook-shop down the street. 

CORDIALS AND RESTORATIVES. 

In olden times the good Elizabethan housewife was the 
doctor's great ally. In her still-room the lady with the rufi 
and fardingale was ever busy with cooling waters, surfeit waters, 
and cordial waters, or in preparing conserves of roses, spirits of 
herbs, and juleps for calentures, and fevers. Poppy water was 
good for weak stomachs ; Mint and Eue waters were efficacious 
for the head and brain ; even Walnuts yielded a cordial. Then 
there was Cinnamon water, and the essence of Cloves, Gilli- 
flowers, and Lemon water. Sweet Marjoram water, and Spirit 
of Ambergris (an excrement of the Spermaceti Whale). Respect- 
ing the last mentioned of these restoratives, it should be told 
that Brillat Savarin has quite recently given to the public a 
remarkable recipe-: " Take six large onions, three carrots, and 
a handful of pa,rsley ; chop them up, and put into a stewpan ; 
heat them with a little, good, fresh butter until they change 
colour ; when this is done, put in six ounces of sugar candy, 
twenty grains of ground Ambergris, with a crust of toast, and 
three bottles of water ; boil up for three quarters of an hour, 
adding water anew to make up for the loss by evaporation. 
While this is on the fire, kill, pluck, and draw an old cock, and 
pound it up (flesh and bone) in a mortar with an iron pestle. 
Also chop up two pounds of good lean beef. This done, mix the 
fowl and beef together, and season with salt and pepper. Put 
the whole into another stewpan on a quick fire, and add from 
time to time a little fresh butter, so as to keep it from sticking 
to the pan. When it is heated through, pour in the broth from 
the first stewpan little by little, and when all is in give it a strong 
boil for three-quarters of an hour, always adding enough hot 
water to keep it to the same volume of liquid. At the end of 
this time the Restorative is ready, and it exercises a sure effect on 
the invalid if his stomach has but sufficiently retained its diges- 
tive powers. To use the Cordial give a cupful every three hours 
until it is time for the invalid to go to sleep. On the following 
day give a good cupful the first thing in the morning, and the 



l/.sJ.-li' 



CORDIALSJ AND RESTORATIVES. 207 



Qime at night, continuing tke said plan until the three bottlefuls 
re finished. Keep the invalid on a light, but nourishing diet, 
such as the thighs of poultry, fish, sweet fruits, preserves, etc. 
It wiU scarcely ever happen that a second dose of the Restorative 
will be needed at that time. On about the fourth day the 
invalid will be able to resume his ordinary occupation. If the 
Restorative thus prescribed is made use of at a banquet, the 
ancient rooster may be replaced by four old partridges, and the 
beef by a piece of leg of mutton (whilst the Ambergris and sugar 
candy are at option). It is well that everybody should know 
that though Ambergris, considered as a perfume, is distasteful 
to persons with too sensitive nerves, it is nevertheless admirably 
tonic, and exhilarating when taken internally. Our ancestors 
made great use of it in cookery, and were all the better for it. 
Richelieu is said to have habitually sucked pastilles flavoured 
with Ambergris ; and other well-known persons, when feeling the 
weight of age, or oppressed by lack of bodily energy, by mixing 
a piece of Ambergris (ground with sugar) the size of a bean, 
with a large cupful of chocolate, and drinking this, have found 
beneficial efEects. By means of such a tonic the action of life 
becomes easy, thinking is no difficulty, and insomnia (sleepless- 
ness), which is," says B. Savarin, " with me the infallible 
consequence of drinking coffee, becomes obviated." 

Given in detail, particulars may be found concerning numerous 
Cordials in our Kitchen Physic, such as Alcohol, Beer Soup, Coffee, 
Egg Cordial, Liebig's Meat Extract, the Mints, Quinces, Ratafia, 
Rum Punch, Tea Caudle, and Win© Whey. Others may be 
usefully added, to wit. Allspice, Caraway, Cinnamon, Cloves, 
Grapes, Honey in Mead, Raisins, Rosemary Wine, Saffron, 
and the Garden Thyme. The four Cordial flowers of English 
Simplers were the Rose, the Violet, the Alkanet, and the Borage. 
" Egg silky," as it is termed at the Cape, is another such excellent 
Cordial for a cold : " Put three entire eggs, covered with the 
juice of three fresh lemons, into a basin for three days, turning 
the eggs now and again so that all the shells shall become 
dissolved ; then take away from the mixture the inner thin 
skins, which are unwholesome ; beat up the eggs, whilst removing 
any specks ; next add a dessertspoonful of sifted sugar, and a 
wineglassful of old rum ; put the mixture into a bottle, and 
keep it corked ; then take a wineglassful every morning before 
breakfast." Again " Punch a la Romaine," as it is called, which 



208 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



is served at dinner, usually after the remove (of the solids), is 
found to exercise the effect of considerably assisting digestion 
at such time ; it forms an interlude between the principal acts 
of the play, being a sort of white ice made with lemon-juice, 
white of egg, sugar, and rum. The quaint old recipe for brewing 
West Indian Punch with Jamaica rum has an almost cabalistic 
ring about it : — 

" One of sour, three of sweet, 
Four of strong, and four of weak." 

But, after all. Brandy is to be pronounced far excdlence the 
prince of cordial restoratives. This (Brant wein, " burnt wine ") 
is a spirituous liquor obtained by the distillation of wine. It 
contains an average proportion of alcohol from 48 to 54 per cent. 
In a peculiarly rich Brandy made from the ferment and stalks 
left from wine manufacture, a wine oil is found, Cognac oil, so 
called from its flavour. Genuine Cognac is distilled from the 
red, and white grapes of vineyards about Cognac, a small city 
in the Charente department. But the fact is manifest, that this 
Cognac could not possibly supply half the Brandy which is 
represented as such ; even some of the costly brands are not 
expressed from grapes which grow in picturesque old Cognac. 
Beet-root plays an important part in Brandy distilling, not 
excepting " fine old Cognac " at sixty shillings the dozen. 
Another very frequent variety of Brandy is whisky distilled 
from corn, and flavoured with genuine Cognac, as well as with 
oenanthic ether. But Spain, which abounds with cheap wines, 
furnishes some fearsome brands of vile Brandies, coloured with 
burnt sugar, and contaminated with fusel oil, ether, etc. There 
is a pure, wholesome Cognac which is immensely valuable for 
medicinal purposes, being made from the grapes of La Folle, 
or St. Pierre, such as are carefully cultivated, and guarded, in the 
vineyards of Charente. These grapes are juicy, large, and very 
sweet, as well as rich in flavour. The wine expressed therefrom 
is stored in oaken casks for four years, at the end of which time 
it is rich in colour, and very astringent in quality, these being 
the virtues which confer its value as a medicine. In a good year 
six or seven bottles of wine should yield one bottle of Brandy. 
After from twenty to forty years Brandy comes to contain a 
considerable proportion of volatile ethers, and aldehydes, to 
which some of the most valuable properties of this Cordial spirit 



CORDIALS AND RESTORATIVES. 209 

are to be attributed. British. Brandy is distilled in England 
from malt liquors, and has the flavour, and colour, of French 
Brandy imparted to it artificially. 

For Orange Brandy, which is an excellent tonic restorative, 
" to one gallon of best pale Brandy put one dozen Seville 
oranges ; tear these oranges into very thin segments, and 
squeeze out the juice ; next add two pounds of powdered loaf 
sugar, and stir until dissolved ; let it stand a day or two, then 
shake up well, and leave it for a few months ; afterwards 
bottle it." 

Punch is an alcoholic drink in which lemon- juice is introduced, 
with a flavouring of the peel, as added to either of the principal 
distilled spirits, water, and sugar. Without doubt the most 
characteristic Punch is made with Rum, at least in part. It 
may be drunk hot or cold. As an immediate restorative, and 
in winter, hot Punch is best. It shoidd never be stronger than 
the presence of alcohol to 20 per cent will make it ; this is about 
the average strength of Sherry, or Port wine. The Punch will 
be more wholesome if containing less spirit (down to 10 per cent 
of alcohol). If milk be added, this will give to the Punch a body 
which develops, and accentuates its taste. The beverage always 
remains a little turbid, except when kept a long time ; very 
httle precipitation of curd (casein) takes place. " Hot Punch " 
(the Bagman's Story, in Pickwick) " is a pleasant thing, gentlemen, 
an extremely pleasant thing under any circumstances, but in 
the snug old parlour, before the roaring fire, on a cold winter's 
night, with the wind blowing outside till every timber in the 
old house creaked again, Tom Smart found it perfectly delightful. 
He ordered another tumblerful, and then another ; I am not 
quite certain whether he did not order another again after that." 
Also, " when Mr. Pickwick at the skating party fell through the 
broken ice, and was extricated with much splashing, and cracking, 
and struggling, he ran off at the top of his speed, muffled in 
shawls, until he reached Manor Farm, then paused not an instant 
until he was snug in bed. A bowl of Punch was carried up 
promptly after some dinner, and a grand carouse was held in 
honour of his safety ; a second, and a third bowl were ordered 
in, and when Mr. Pickwick awoke next morning there was not 
a symptom of rheumatism about him ; which proves, as Mr. Bob 
' Sawyer justly observed, there is nothing like hot Punch in such 
cases ; and that if ever hot Punch did fail to act as a preventive, 

14 



210 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

it was merely because the patient fell into the vulgar error of 
not taking enough of it." Furthermore, after " the leg-of- 
mutton swarry" at Bath, when Sam Weller played the host to 
the departing guests, " Mr. Tuckle, the coachman in red, laid 
aside his cocked hat, and stick, which he had just taken up, and 
said he would have one glass for goodfellowship's sake ; and, 
as the gentleman in blue went home the same way, he was 
prevailed upon to stop, too. When the Punch was about half 
gone, Sam ordered in some oysters from the greengrocer's shop ; 
and the effect of both was so extremely exhilarating that Mr. 
Tuckle, dressed out with the cocked hat, and stick, danced the 
frog hornpipe among the shells on the table, while the gentleman 
in blue played an accompaniment upon an ingenious musical 
instrument formed of a hair-comb and a curl paper." 

Rum is a spirit usually produced by the distillation of fer- 
mented molasses, as obtained in the manufacture of raw sugar, 
but the best varieties are procured by direct fermentation of 
sugar-cane juice. " Rum," said Oliver Wendell Holmes, " I 
take to be the name which unwashed moralists apply alike 
to the product distilled from molasses, and the noblest juices 
of the vineyard. Burgundy in all its sunset glow is Rum ! 
Champagne, the foaming wine of Eastern Prance, is Rum I " As 
a spirit it owes its dark colour to burnt sugar. A considerable 
quantity of the Rum sold in this country is made from " silent 
spirit," being flavoured chemically with " ethyl-butyrate." 
The most esteemed Rum comes from the West Indies, as Jamaica 
Rum, Antigua, Grenada, or Santa Crux Rum. Our forefathers 
a generation ago were fond of Rum Shrub (from Shariba, drink), 
which was concocted by boiling fresh currant juice for about 
ten minutes with an equal weight of sugar, and adding a little 
Rum. Thackeray wrote {Phillip's Adventures) : " There never 
was any liquor so good as Rum Shrub, never ! and the sausages 
had a flavour of Elysium." " Oh ! my young friend," said the 
red-nosed Mr. Stiggins, the shepherd, to Sam Weller (in Pickwick), 
" all taps is vanities : if there is any one of them less odious 
than another it is the liquor called Rum, — warm, my dear young 
friend, with three lumps of sugar to the tumbler." Rum is 
remarkable for its freedom from fusel oil, or amylic alcohol. 

Again, a Sherry Cobbler (originally Cobbler's Punch) as a 
summer drink, to be sucked through a straw, is reviving, and 
wholesome in hot weather. It is made by mixing up together 



CORDIALS AND RESTORATIVES. 211 



in a large glass pounded ice, wine, and sugar, with slices of 
orange, or pineapple. 

Ratafia, deriving its name from the Malay " Tafia," a liqueur 
prepared from cane sugar syrup, is a sweet cordial flavoured 
with fruits, generally those yielding the essences of black 
currants, bitter almonds, or peach and cherry kernels. Ashton 
in his Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne, telling of a Lady 
at the Play, says : " It would make a man smile to behold her 
Figure in a front Box, where her twinkling eyes, by her afternoon 
Drams of Ratifee, and cold tea, sparkle more than her pendants." 

Allspice (Pimento) is likewise popular as a warming cordial, 
having a sweet odour, and a grateful aromatic taste. The name 
is given because the berries afiord in smell and taste a combination 
of cloves, juniper berries, cinnamon, and pepper. The special 
qualities of Pimento reside in the rind of its berries, and the tree 
is the Eugenia Pimento of Brazil. Pimento berries are put into 
curry powder, and are added to mulled wines ; they are useful 
against flatulent indigestion, and as a carminative stimulant. 

Sack posset, an old American cordial (especially favoured 
at weddings), was made according to a familiar rhyme : — 

" From famed Barbadoes, on the Western Main 
Fetch sugar, half a pound : fetch sack from Spain, 
A pint : and from the East Indian Coast 
Nutmeg, the glory of our northern coast. 
O'er flaming coals together let them heat. 
Till the all-conquering sack dissolves the sweet. 
O'er such another fixe set eggs, twice ten, 
Xew born from crowing cock and speckled hen ; 
Stir them with steady hand, and conscience pricking 
To see the untimely fate of twenty chicken. 
From shining shelf take down your brazen skillet ; 
A quart of milk from gentle cow will fill it. 
When boiled, and cooked, put milk and sack to egg, 
Unite them firmly like the triple league ; 
Then, covered close, together let them dwell 
Till Miss twice sings ' You must not kiss and tell.' 
Each lad and lass snatch up their murdering spoon 
And fall on fiercely like a starved dragoon." 

Concerning Blackberry Cordial as an excellent restorative, 
mention has been already made here in high commendation 
thereof. 

Sweet Grapes, again, besides being of capital service for 
supplying warmth as combustion material by their ready-made 
sugar, are cordial by the essential flavours of the fruit, whilst 



212 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

a surplus of the glucose (Grape sugar) serves to. form fat for 
storage. 

The Peppermint (Mentha piferita), or Brandy Mint, which 
grows not uncommonly in moist places about England, and 
is cultivated largely at Mitcham, yields by its fragrant, powerfully 
aromatic, and comforting essential oil, preparations which diffuse 
warmth in the stomach, and mouth, acting as a carminative 
stimulant, with some amount of sedative power against the 
pain of colic, flatulence, spasm, or indigestion. This is through 
the potential oil, of which the herb yields 1 per cent. The 
leaves and stems exhale a strong, refreshing, characteristic 
aroma, which, whilst delicate at first, is quickly followed by a 
sense of numbness, and coldness, increased by drawing in the 
breath. Lozenges made of Peppermint Oil, or Essence, are 
admirable for affording ease in colic, flatulence, and nausea. 
They will also help to prevent sea-sickness, besides proving 
antiseptic if food has been- taken of a putrescent tendency, or 
hard to digest. When Tom Hood lay a-dying, he turned his 
eyes feebly towards the window on hearing it rattle in the night ; 
whereupon his wife, who was watching him, said softly, " It's 
only the wind, dear ! " to which he replied with a ready sense 
of humour, indomitable to the last, " Then put a Peppermint 
lozenge on the sill." The allied Spear Mint (Mentha viridis), 
such as the cook employs for making Mint sauce, possesses 
likewise cordial properties by its aromatic essential oil, which 
is fragrant, and grateful to the stomach ; it stimulates the 
digestive system, and prevents septic changes within the 
intestines. This is called also Mackerel Mint, and in Germany 
Lady's Mint (or Money). " The smell of Mint," quoth John 
Swan, in Speculum Mundi (1643), " stirreth up the mind, and 
must therefore be good for students." 

" Marmalade of Quinces," says Austin, on Fruits (1665), 
" is known to be a good cordial, strengthening the stomach, and 
heart, both of the sick, and sound." This fruit, Cydonia, from 
Cydon (now Candia), had a former English title, " Melicotone." 
In ancient Rome it was regarded as sacred ; now we banish the 
tree, because of its strong penetrating odour, to a corner of the 
garden. Lord Bacon commended " quiddemy," a preserve 
of Quinces, for strengthening the stomach ; and old Fuller said 
of this fruit, " Being not more pleasant to the palate than 
restorative to the health, they are accounted a great cordiall." 



CORDIALS AND RESTORATIVES. 213 



Matthiolus (1751) commended Quinces boiled with honey, both 
for meat, and for medicine : " Ex melle tantum et cotaneorum 
came confecta, tain ad cibi, quam ad medicamenti commoda." 

Rosemary Wine, as kept of old always in the still-room, and 
well worthy of being yet retained among the housewife's stores 
for the kitchen, acts, when taken in small quantities, as a quieting 
cordial to a weak heart, subject to palpitations. Furthermore, 
it stimulates the kidneys, thus preventing dropsy. This wine 
may be made by chopping up sprigs of Rosemary from the herb 
garden, and pouring on them some sound white wine, which 
is to be strained off after two or three days, and then used. 
Also, by stimulating the brain and nervous system it proves 
of service against the headaches of a feeble circulation, and of 
languid health. Rosemary from the kitchen garden has a 
pleasant scent, and a bitter, pungent taste, whilst much of its 
active volatile principle resides in the calices of the flowers ; 
therefore in storing, or making use of the plant, these parts 
must be retained. It yields its virtues partly to water, and 
entirely to rectified spirits of wine. 

Sultana Raisins, when stewed, will recruit and revive the 
tired body, and the jaded mind, besides being gently laxative. 
" Wash and pick one pound of Sultanas ; soak them all night 
in cold water ; next morning drain ofi the water, and put the 
Raisins into a pan, or basin, and barely cover them with water ; 
add a little grated lemon-peel ; put a plate over the top, and 
stew them in the oven until quite tender, and soft. Some of 
these Sultanas (hot, or cold), with a sUce of whole-meal bread, 
or brown bread, make a very sustaining meal." Raisin tea, 
which is both refreshing, and as well supplied as milk with 
food proteids, may be made as follows : " Put half a pound of 
good Raisins (stoned) into a quart of cold water, laying open 
the pulp of the fruit ; boil slowly for three or four hours, down 
to a pint ; strain out the skins, etc., through a fine scalded 
sieve, and add fresh lemon-juice if too sweet. The tea may 
be taken cold as well as hot." 

Yellow SafEron (from the stigmata of the Crocus vernalis) is 
much used by the cottagers of Cornwall and Devon in making 
their bread, and cakes ; also by the professed cook for its rich 
colour, and its cordial properties. When concocted with sugar 
into a syrup, it pleases the eye by its splendid hue, and gently 
exhilarates the system at large, one or two teaspoonfuls being 



214 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

given for a dose, with a wineglassful of water (hot," or cold). 
This syrup will serve to energize the organs within the ahdomen 
of both males and females ; . likewise to recruit a feeble heart, 
and an exhausted brain. Eay tells that " SafEron has long 
enjoyed the reputation of comforting the heart, and raising the 
spirits, going thus far towards the relief of those who are 
melancholy through grave mental burdens." In our rural 
districts there is a popular custom of giving SafEron tea for 
measles, on the doctrine, probably, of colour analogy ; to which 
notion may likewise be referred the practice of adding Safiron 
to the drinking water of canary birds when they are moulting. 
Lord Bacon said : " The English are rendered sprightly by a 
liberal use of Safiron in sweetmeats, and broth. "^ And Thackeray 
noted when in Paris : — R I 

''^Green herbs, red pepper, mussels, saffron. 
Soles, onions, garlic, roach and dace ; 
All these you eat at Ferre's tavern, , 

In that one dish of bouillabaisse." 

Likewise Chamomile tea is an excellent revivifying drink for 
aged persons, an hour or more before dinner. Francatelli directs 
to " put about thirty dried Chamomile flowers into a jug, and to 
pour over them a pint of boiling water, covering up the infusion ; 
when it has stood for a quarter of an hour, pour it ofi from the 
flowers into another jug, and sweeten with sugar, or honey." 
The true Chamomile is an aromatic garden herb of prostrate 
growth, and with a single flower on each stem, whilst signifying by 
its name Earth-apple. Its flowers grow with a convex yellow 
disc, exhaling a powerful odour, and having a clean, bitter taste, 
with the possession of an essential oil in only a small quantity. 
This medicament can scarcely be considered a food, but never- 
theless it is a valuable kitchen adjunct ; a teacupful of the 
infusion, sweetened with a dessertspoonful of moist sugar, and 
with a little grated ginger added, serves admirably as an 
appetizing tonic before a principal meal. 

" Borage " (which, with its gallant blue flower, is freely grown 
in the kitchen garden for Claret cup, and the bees) " doth 
exhilarate," says an old herbalist, " when taken in sallets, and 
maketh the mind glad almost as beneficially as a bracing sojourn 
by the seaside during an autumn holiday." " Borago ego 
gaudia semper ago," or " Borage give always courage," tells a 
truthful Latin adage, so cordial is this popular herb even from 



CORDIALS AND RESTORATIVES. 215 



classic times ! According to Dioscorides and Pliny, the Borage 
was that famous nepenthe of Homer, which Polydamas sent to 
Helen for a token, " of such rare virtue that when drunk steep' d 
in wine, if wife, and children, father and mother, brother and 
sister, and all thy dearest friends should die before thy face, 
thou couldst not grieve, or shed a tear for them." The Romans 
named Borage " Ewphrosynon," because when put into a cup 
of wine it made drinkers thereof merry and glad. " Vinum 
potatum in quo sit macercUa buglossa moerorem cerebri dicunt 
auferre periti " : — 

" To enliven the sad with the joy of a joke 
Give them wine with some borage put in it to soak." 

The fresh herb has a cucumber-like fragrance, and when com- 
pounded with lemon, and sugar, in wine, with water, it makes 
a delicious " cool tankard," which is refreshing, and restorative, 
as a summer drink. Chemically the plant contains potassium, 
and calcium, combined with mineral acids. The fresh juice 
afiords 30 per cent, and the dried herb 3 per cent, of nitrate of 
potash. The stems and leaves supply much saline mucilage, 
which, when boiled, and cooled, likewise deposits nitre, and 
common salt. It is to these saline qualities the wholesome, 
iavigorating effects, and the specially recruiting properties of 
the Borage are supposed to be mainly due. Botanically the 
term Borage is a corruption of Cor-ago, because this herb gives 
strength to the heart ; " Quia cordis affectibus medetur." The 
plant was the Bugloss of the older herbalists, and was so named 
from the shape, and bristly surface of its leaves, which resemble 
" Bous-glossa," the tongue of an ox. " Sprigs of Borage," 
wrote John Evelyn, " are of known virtue to revive the hypo- 
chondriac, and cheer the hard student." Parkinson adds : 
" Borage helpeth nurses to have more store of milk, for which 
purpose its leaves are most conducing." The saline constituents 
promote activity of the kidneys, and for the same reason Borage 
is used in France to carry ofE feverish catarrhs. " It is a herb," 
saith G-erarde, " of force and virtue to drive away sorrow, and 
the pensiveness of the mind, and to comfort the heart." (After 
which method Sir Thomas Browne reasons in his Rdigio Medici, 
when claiming to " cure vices by physick when they remain 
incurable by Divinity, the same obeying his pills when the 
precepts of the preachers are contemned.") John Swan, in his 



216 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Sfectdum Mundi (1643), "advised his gentle readers to be 
discreet in their generation, and to gather to themselves great 
armsful of never-dying Borage (so called because of its fair blew 
flowers, ripe seeds, and buds, which may all be seen on it at once), 
and bravely plunge it into wine, where," saith Master Swan, 
" it cannot but be good, and comfortable, and pleasant for the 
brain, and heart ; it increaseth wit, and memoire, engendereth 
good blood, maketh a man merrie, and joyfull, and putteth 
away all melancholie, and madness." 

Our garden herb. Thyme (the Thyme of Candy, Musk Thyme), 
which is used by the cook as a flavouring, or for seasoning 
purposes, is an excellent cordial. Its proper name. Thymus 
serpyUum, denotes a procumbent creeping plant, whilst " ihumos " 
signifies the courage which it inspires. It is anti-spasmodic, 
good against nervous, or hysterical headaches, for flatulence, 
and the headache which follows inebriation. Thyme tea is 
aromatic, fragrant, and refreshing. The plant depends for its 
virtues on an essential oil consisting of two hydrocarbons, with 
thymol as the fatty base, this thymol being a famous antiseptic. 
The Romans gave Thyme as a sovereign remedy to melancholy 
persons. A little of the herb added to wine imparts thereto a 
most grateful savour ; mixed with food it helps dimness of 
sight. The herb, wherever it grows wild, denotes a pure atmo- 
sphere, and is thought to enliven the spirits by the fragrance 
which it diffuses into the air around. " I know a bank whereon 
the Wild Thyme blows," says Oberon, King of the Fairies, in 
A Midsummer Night's Dream. Another variety of the same is 
Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus), distinguished by its parti- 
coloured leaves, and its lilac flowers. Small beds of this Thyme 
are cultivated at Penzance, in which to rear millepedes, or 
hog-Uce, for administration against scrofulous disease in several 
of its forms. The said millepede was the primitive medicinal 
pill. It is found commonly in dry gardens, under stones, or 
rubbish, and rolls itself up in a ball when touched, having a 
brown, horny armour, in plates, around its diminutive body, 
which body abounds with a nitrous salt, this having long given 
the creatures a reputation for curing inveterate struma, as well as 
some kinds of bladder- stone. From three to twelve were ordered 
of old daily throughout a hundred days, in Rhenish wine, for 
overcoming cancerous disease. Other popular designations 
which it bears are Old Sow, Grammar Sow, Saint Anthony's 



CORDIALS AND RESTORATIVES. 217 



Hog, Chiselbob, and Cudworm ; the Latin name is Porcdlus 
scaber. 

After all considering of Cordials, "there can be no doubt," 
as Dr. Hutchison puts it, " that in any case presenting signs 
of profound prostration of nerves and heart, some alcoholic 
spirit which is old, and well matured, should be given as the 
restorative cordial ; and it is only when in such condition that 
spirits become really rich in ethereal bodies. Of Whisky, Rum, 
and genuine Brandy, the last is by far the best ; the finest 
liqueur Brandy should then be alone employed, no matter how 
much one has to pay for it. There can be no doubt that its 
free and timely administration has saved many a life." 

In the middle ages of England, and until a hundred years ago, 
the aforesaid wholesome custom obtained among great ladies, 
and prudent housewives, of personally distilling cordial waters, 
essences, and other salutary preparations, to be kept in store 
for domestic requirements. Thus we read in Armord (Besant), 
concerning herself, and Roland Lee : " And then she took him 
into a room of the eighteenth century, which no longer exists 
there, or elsewhere save in name. It was the StUl-room, and 
on its shelves stood the elixirs, and cordials of ancient time : 
the Currant-gin to fortify the stomach on a raw morning before 
crossing the Roads ; the Cherry Brandy for a cold and stormy 
night ; the Elderberry wine, good, mulled, and spiced at 
Christmas-time ; the Blackberry wine ; the home-made Distilled 
waters, Lavender water, Hungary water, Cyprus water, and 
the Divine Cordial itself, which takes three seasons to complete, 
and requires all the flowers of Spring, Summer, and Autumn." 

Sir Edwin Arnold recently discoursed at length concerning 
a marvellous cordial root which the Chinese get from the Korea, 
Ginseng, this being thought to transcend all other cordials, tonics, 
and restoratives. " It will renovate, and reinvigorate failing 
bodily powers beyond all other stimulants, stomachics, and 
energizers of vitality. The Korean people believe the said root 
to be an absolute panacea for all mortal ills, mental, or physical ; 
it is packed and transmitted with the most scrupulous care 
and pains, in small parcels of white silk, the mouth and nose 
of the recipient having to be covered when unfolding these 
sacred envelopes of embroidered silk, or of crimson, and goldfist 
skin. The habitat of this wonderful root (in form like a man) 
is in the glens and slopes of the Kang-ge Mountains, and it can 



218 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



be found only by persons of blameless life, and purity of heart ; 
when taken from the earth it is thought to utter a low musical 
cry. It is to be cooked in a special silver kettle, having a double 
interior, as an infusion, or with rice wine. The plant belongs 
to the order of Araliacem. Prom sixty to ninety grains of the 
dried root are a proper dose ; it fills the heart with hilarity, 
whilst its occasional use adds a decade of years to the ordinary 
span of human life." 

CORN, INDIAN. 

{See Maize, Hominy, Samp, Oswego, Pop Corn, and Cbebaline.) 

Maize, or Indian Corn, which is produced over immense regions 
of the globe, though not grown in England, affords nutriment 
of a substantial kind more largely than wheat, our " StafE of 
Life." It also contains starch, sugar, fat, salts, and water. 
Maize has the additional advantage of being easily digested in 
the human body, so that altogether it makes a specially valuable 
food. " With a diet of Indian Corn, bread, and pork," says an 
American writer, " the workmen of this country are capable 
of enduring the greatest fatigue, and of performing the heaviest 
amount of physical labour." But Maize is deficient in mineral 
salts, though richer in fat than any other cereal, except the oat. 
In Ireland, Maize is cooked as a porridge, or " stir-about," or, 
as the Americans call it, mush. 

Hominy, Samp, and Cerealine are starchy preparations of 
split maize, being of much nutritive value as such, and admirable 
for making puddings. Corn bread contains more nourishment 
than wheaten bread, and is a better diet for persons sufiering 
. from disease of the hver, or of the kidneys. Doctors will do 
well to advocate a more extensive use of Corn bread ; it is cheaper 
than wheaten bread, is readily prepared, and requires but little 
knowledge to make it. The starch of Maize (sold as corn-flour) 
is a manufactured article, and represents only the fat-forming, 
heat-producing constituents of the grain ; but because containing 
little, or no mineral matter it cannot sustain the solids of the 
body. Infants fed on this corn-flour grow up rickety ; it contains 
only about eighteen grains of proteid substance to the pound. 
The flour of Maize does not make good bread in the ordinary 
way : it has a harsh flavour, and the meal is heavy. A couple 
of teaspoonfuls of corn-flour mixed with two tablespoonfuls of 



cow. 219 

water, and then added to half a pint of boiling milk, and boiled 
for eight minutes, being sweetened to taste, form a liquid of 
about the consistency of cream. An old doctor of some note 
has been in the habit of taking a basin of this every night at 
bedtime, with decided benefit. For some feeble persons a 
spoonful of brandy, or a wineglassful of good sound sherry, 
would be properly added, and would ■ better conduce to its 
digestion. 

COW (iS'ee Butteb, Cream, and Milk.) 

In Flintshire, and some other counties, the sweet breath, and 
smell of the Cow are thought to be of benefit against consumption 
of the human lungs. Henderson tells of a blacksmith's apprentice 
who was restored to health when far advanced in a decline, by 
taking the milk of Cows pastured in a kirkyard. " Dot Deus 
iminiti cornua curta bovi," says the Latin proverb — " Savage 
cattle have only short horns." So was it in The House that 
Jack built, where the fretful creature that " tossed the dog " 
had but one " horn," which grew " crumpled." Dr. Jacond, 
in his Traitement de la Phthisie Pvlmonaire, makes a great point 
of consumptive patients who live in the country drinking plenty 
of new milk, and this in the Cows' stables ; not only that they 
may thus get the milk perfectly fresh, but also that they may 
breathe the atmosphere of the byre for a while two or three 
times a day. He feels confident that this atmosphere serves 
to allay bronchial irritation, and cough. In the Life of 
Charlotte Mary Yonge, by Miss Coleridge, 1903, it is related 
that Edmond Yonge, a sailor, one of her ancestors, was pro- 
nounced early in life to be in a decline, and was therefore sent 
to be under the care of a Swiss doctor who " made the young 
man live in a cow-house, and drink mUk." Edmond Yonge 
took several subsequent voyages, and "kept his cough till he 
was nearly seventy years old." 

Under the title of Le Pied de Bceuf Poulette, Vieullemont gives 
a noteworthy recipe of a very nutritious and easily-digested 
delicacy for the invalid : " Wrap a Cow-heel in washed selvage, 
and boil it in some water, with vegetables, and spices. Then, 
having removed the wrapping, cover, the heel with a sauce 
made (white) of cream, with yolk of egg, lemon-juice, and 
nutmeg, and add parsley, also butter." " Ce flat far son 
confortable gout, est tres rechercM," says this experienced cook. 



220 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



" Hey, diddle, diddle, 
The cat scraped the fiddle. 
The cow jump'd over the moon ; 
The little dog bayed 
To see such sport played ; 
And the dish ran away with the spoon," 

' ' H6 I gripon, gripon ! 
Chat grattait le cremone ! 
La vache sur la lune cabriole ; 
L'6pagneul grimace 
Bn voyant sa grace ; 
Et la ohaton le cuiller vole." 

Cow-heel broth is both strengthening and remedial to a weakly 
stomach. In the time of Izaak Walton there was made direct 
from the cow a pleasant cordial which is now seldom or ever 
seen, the sillabub, or spiced wine, on which milk was pumped 
from a cow yielding it good and rich into a large bowl ; it was 
then set aside for haH-an-hour or more, and afterwards served 
in glasses with a ladle. Clotted cream was, and still is, put on 
the top of the syllabub in Devonshire. 

" Joan takes her neat rnb'd paU, and now 
She trips to milk the sand-red cow, 
Where for some sturdy football swain 
Joan strokes a syllabub, or twain." 

Comjieat Aiigler. 

COWSLIP. 

Because affording an excellent sweet wine with decided curative 
virtues, the Cowslip merits a passing culinary notice. Pliny 
wrote about this homely flower, " In aqua potum omnibus morbis 
mederi tradunt" thus making it seem a veritable panacea. 
Former medical writers called it the " Palsywort," because of 
its supposed efiicacy in relieving paralysis. Pope has praised 
the plant for its soporific powers : — 

" For want of rest 
Lettuce and cowslip wine : probatum est." 

Cowslip salad made from the golden petals, with white sugar, 
and other adjuncts, is an excellent, and refreshing dish. Also 
a syrup of rich yellow colour may be made from the petals. 
One pound of the freshly-gathered blossoms should be infused 
in a pint and a half of boiling water, and then simmered down 
with loaf sugar to a proper consistence. This syrup, taken with 



COWSLIP. 221 

a little water, is admirable for giddiness from nervous debility, 
or from previous nervous excitement. It is of old date as given 
formerly against palsy. Dr. Quincy ordered the same in his 
Eiiglish Dispensatory, 1728. There is among the curios at 
LUford Hall, Northants, a primitive apothecary s jar — -of about 
that time — made of Dutch Delft, in grey glaze, with handle and 
spout. It bears in front a conspicuous blue painted legend, " Syr. 
Parcdyseo" (Syrup for the Paralysed.) A quaintly drawn blue 
angel supports the label at each end. Cowslip petals were 
conserved in sugar, and dried in the sun by our grandmothers 
to mix with tea. The flowers were then known as Paigles, 
Kingcups, Crewels, and Petty Mulleins ; but dearest of all is 
the old Saxon name " Cusloppe," still almost unaltered. They 
emit an odour of Anise, which is due to their containing some 
volatile oil identical with Mannite ; their more acrid principle 
is saponin. For making Cowslip wine, " take one gallon of 
water, and three pounds of loaf sugar, and boil together for 
half an hour ; in the meantime have ready the rind and juice 
of two lemons, also the rind and juice of one Seville orange ; 
pour it boiling over these, having first strained the juice ; when 
lukewarm add one gallon of Cowslip pips picked from the stocks 
and seeds ; then add two tablespoonfuls of brewers' good yeast, 
and let it ferment for three or four days ; afterwards to every 
gallon of wine add half a pint of French Brandy ; put all into a 
cask, and let it remain for two months ; then bottle off for use." 
As a quieting solace at bedtime when a person is nervously tired, 
a good wineglassful of this Cowslip wine, mixed with one, or two, 
wineglassfuls of quite hot water, and with some nutmeg grated 
in, makes an excellent sedative ; taking also, if desired, a genuine 
Abernethy biscuit. In Northamptonshire the Paigle is known 
as Bedlam Cowslip. Herbals of the Elizabethan date tell that 
an ointment made from Cowslip flowers " taketh away the spots 
and wrinkles of the skin, and doth add beauty exceedingly, as 
divers ladies and gentlewomen, and she citizens, whether wives, 
or widows, know well enough." Lord Chesterfield, writing to 
his son, then at Venice (October, 1749), told him that " mens 
Sana in corf ore sano " is the first and greatest blessing ; and 
I would add " et fvlchro " to complete it : " May you have that 
and every other." 

CRAB {See Lobster.) 



■222 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

CRAB APPLE. {See Verjuice.) 

From green fruits, particularly the wild Crab, and unripe grapes, 
can be expressed an acid liquor, verjuice, or verjuyce, which is 
highly astringent, being used as such for both culinary, and 
medicinal purposes. " Many," says old Burton in his Anatomy 
of Melancholy, " leave roses, and gather thistles ; loathe honey, 
and have verjuice." In Izaak Walton's Angler (1653) the 
milkwoman promises Piscator " when he next comes a fishing 
two months hence, a syllabub of new verjuice in a new-made 
haycock." "This book" {National Observer, 1893), "is as full 
of delights as a meadow of cowslips. Good, kind old soul was 
Walton, but could you have trusted him with a baby, for 
instance, if some one had told him that a bit of baby was a 
capital bait for barbel ? " 

Dr. Nowel, Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral for thirty years, 
teUs that Izaak ("laughter") Walton reached the great age of 
ninety-five, angling and temperance being thei chief causes of 
his length of life. 

" The first men that our Saviour dear 
Did choose to wait upon Him here 
Blest fishers were ; and fish the last 
Pood was that He on earth did taste ; 
So let us strive to follow those 
Whom He to follow Him hath chose ! " 

The Angler's Song — Piscator. 

To make Crab-apple jelly : " Prepare the apples by removing 
the stalks, and the unsound parts, and wipe dry ; cut 
into halves, and put them in a preserving pan, with sufficient 
water to cover the bottom. When the fruit is quite soft, 
pour off the water, and to every pint allow a pound of pre- 
serving sugar ; put this into a preserving pan with some 
slices of lemon-peel, and let boil slowly for half-an-hour or so, 
removing the scum as it rises. Have ready dissolved in a little 
water one ounce of gelatine to every quart of liquor, and just 
before removing it from the fire stir the gelatine in rapidly. 
Fill mould, or glasses, with the jelly, and place them in a cojd 
position to set." Again : " Procure some finely- coloured 
Siberian Crab-apples ; allow half a pint of cold water to each 
pound of fruit ; put them on to cook until they become pulpy ; 
then strain through a jelly -bag ; and when all the juice is 
extracted, measure it, and allow one pound of the best loaf sugar 



CRANBERRY. 223 



to each pint of the juice ; also the rind and juice of one lemon 
to four quarts of juice ; stir until the sugar is dissolved ; and 
when beginning to boil, time it, as it will take from twenty to 
twenty-five minutes ; pour into jars, and store when cold." 

Among old-fashioned flowering plants, the Rose Geranium 
has always occupied a prominent place in popular favour. Our 
grandmothers, and perhaps some of their grandmothers before 
them, have been known to strew the fragrant leaves of this 
aromatic plant among their household linen, and their persona 
lingerie ; but few persons know the culinary value of the same 
homely plant. The next time you are making Crab-apple- jelly 
try the following recipe with a few glasses : " Have the Geranium 
leaves washed so as to free them from any possible insects, or 
parasites, and dry them gently ; then just before pouring the hot 
jelly into the glasses, throw a small young Geranium leaf, slightly 
crushed, into the bottom of each glass ; it may be allowed to 
remain until the jelly is used, and will not spoil this in any way. 
The result is a specially scented, and cordial flavour, which 
improves the jelly (whether of Crab-apple, or of Cranberry) 
amazingly." " Sometimes also when baking a cake it will 
serve a similar grateful purpose to line an earthen plate with 
fresh Geranium leaves, and turn the hot cake out upon them, 
leaving it there until quite cold. The steam absorbs volatile 
fragrance from the leaves, giving the cake a most dainty flavour 
which suggests nothing so nearly as the odour of a ' La France ' 
rose." Moreover, as an anti-cancerous remedy the Geranium 
has recently acquired some considerable reputation, and an 
Essence is made from the whole plant for curative purposes of 
such a nature. 

Verjuice abounds with tannin, and is a capital external 
application for old sprains, as well as for drying up warts, 
and causing them to wither away. 

CRANBERRY. {See Whortleberey, ami Bilberry Fruits.) 

The Cranberry order of plants, found growing abundantly in 
England about heaths, and mountainous districts, afiords 
several berried shrubs, the fruits of which possess some medicinal 
virtues. Among these the Cranberry, or Fenberry, is to be 
discovered in peat bogs, bearing solitary, terminal, bright red 
flowers, on straggUng, wiry stems, of which the segments are 



224 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



bent back in a singular manner. Before the blossom expands 
the fruit stalk resembles the head and neck of a crane ; the 
subacid fruit makes excellent tarts, and is signally antiscorbutic. 
This is the Oxycoccos folustris. Cranberries are also imported 
in barrels from Norway, and Russia ; likewise a larger kind from 
America, Oxycoccos macrocar-pus. 

The Berberry, or Barberry, has already been told about ; 
it is intensely, but agreeably, acid. 

The Whortleberry, popularly called as to its fruit " whorts " 
(which ripen about the time of St. James' Feast, July. 25th), 
is in its etymology corrupted from Myrtleberry by the initial M. 
having sufEered a change into W. In the middle ages the 
Myrtleberry was used in medicine, and cookery. 

The Bilberry (Yaccinium myrtUlus) — {and see "Fruits") — 
is an admirable astringent, and is treated of here explicitly 
among Fruits. Its fresh juice is antidotal to the bacillus of 
typhoid fever, as well as to some other kindred bacilU, generally 
killing these within twelve hours after reaching them within 
the intestines. Neither the acid gastric juice of the stomach, 
nor the alkaline contents of the bowels, will interfere with such 
germicidal action, which extends down to the lowest part of the 
alimentary canal. Likewise this fruit confers sure benefit" 
against dysentery by its destructive power on bacilli. In 
Germany the berries are a favourite popular remedy for diarrhoea, 
being used either dry, or in fruit wine, syrup, or vegetable 
extract. Bilberry jam is excellent against diarrhoea, with 
putridity, and flatulence, from bacterial fermentation. This 
fruit, when stewed, is eaten cold by the Germans at the commence- 
ment of dinner in the place of soup. 

" Our last Thanksgmn' dinner we 
Ate at Granny's house, and she 
Had — just as she alius does — 
The bestest pies as ever wus. 
Canned blaolibxu'y pie, an' luscious goose- 
Burry, squashin' full of juice ; 
An' rosburry, an' likewise plum, 
Yes, an' cherry pie ; yum ! yum ! 
Peach, an' pumpkin too, you bet ; 
Lawky, I can taste 'em yet. 
Yes, an' custard pie, an' mince ! 
I aint ate no sich nice pies since ! " 

These various berries have induced some wag to string their 
terminal appellations together in an odd fashion : " Equidem 



CUE AM. 225 



non fendo unius fragarii ribes, taxi baccce simile : fermittam 
tamen omnibus chiococcum, te rubum. Te rubum idaeum prorsus 
exstitisse : vaocinium autem, senior die " ; " I don't care a 
straw-berry for a goose-berry like yew-berry, but I'll let folk- 
s(k)now-berry that you're a regular-ass-berry, and whort'll- 
berry-senior say ? " Eecently " Dagonet," making a pilgrimage 
to Haworth, rendered famous by the Bronte family, came to a 
pastrycook's shop, over which was inscribed the inviting legend, 
" Funeral teas provided." He entered the shop, and found 
presiding therein a delightful Yorkshire housewife who was busy 
making parkins. He asked her for a Funeral Tea, whereat she 
smiled, and gave him some Bilberry tarts (which were a dream), 
and gossiped to him pleasantly of the Brontes, and showed him 
Branwell's chair, and told him all about " Funeral teas." , 

CREAM. 

The fat of new milk, which rises to the surface after standing, 
is Cream. It contains proteid, and sugar (lactose), in fully as 
high proportion as milk itself. A good sample of Cream should 
afiord 41 per cent of fat. Clotted Cream, or Devonshire 
Cream, is specially prepared by scalding the milk in deep pans, 
thus causing a rapid and very complete separation of the fat ; 
this Cream possesses only about half as much sugar as ordinary 
Cream, therefore it is peculiarly suitable for diabetic patients. 
" Good Cream," says Dr. Hutchison, " contains as much fat 
as most cod-liver oil emulsions in a similar quantity (though, 
of course, by comparison it lacks the fish constituents, iodine, 
broniine, etc.)." Nowadays the old-fashioned way of allowing 
the Cream to rise to the top of new milk is in large dairies 
almost entirely superseded by a method for separating the milk 
by means of centrifugal machines. If Clotted Cream is taken 
too abundantly it proves aperient. By mixing it with an equal 
quantity of hot water (and perhaps adding to each teaoupful 
a teaspoonful of brandy) it can be made more digestible for a 
consumptive, or weakly invalid. " Cream," said Florence 
Nightingale (in Notes on Nursing), " is quite irreplaceable in 
many chronic diseases by any other article of food whatever. 
It seems to act in the same manner as beef-tea, and is much 
more digestible with most persons than milk ; in fact, it seldom 
disagrees." In the Art of Cookery (1708) we read nevertheless : — 

" Or you can make whipt Cream ; but what relief 
Will that be to a sailor who wants Beef ? " 15 



226 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

About Devon, and Cornwall, Clotted Cream is eaten with every 
practical form of sweet thing, from stewed fruit to Christmas 
pudding, treacle and Cream being an approved combination. 
This is colloquially known as " thunder and lightning ; " and 
orthodox lovers, out for the day, order it with their tea, in 
Fusohia-covered cottages ; then the correct and mystic practice 
is to smother a " split cake " (a sort of small Sally Lunn) with 
some of the thick Cream, and to trace on its surface, in casual 
letters formed by the golden syrup trickling from a spoon, the 
beloved one's name, or its initial letters. 

CRESSES. 

Comprised among Cresses for the table, either in salads, or as 
vegetable condiments, yet withal salutary to the health as 
containing sulphur, and mineral salts, are the Water Cress, 
the Garden Cress, the Winter Cress, and for special occasions 
some other Cresses. Simon Paulli has said : " An evident proof 
that these herbs, so useful against scurvy, are enriched with 
volatile salts, more especially in the spring time, is this : that 
if we prepare an essence, or a tincture thereof, at the end of 
April, or at the beginning of May, 'twill look red like Chio, or 
Malvatic wine, — which it will not do at other seasons of the year." 
All the Cresses have a pungent, stimulating taste, because of 
their sulphuretted essential oil. Formerly the Greeks attached 
much value to the whole order of Cresses, which they esteemed 
as beneficial for the brain. A favourite maxim with them was, 
" Eat Cresses, and get wit." 

The Water Cress (Nasturtium olficmaie) is of superlative 
remedial worth, and is therefore highly popular at table. This 
Cress contains a sulpho-nitrogenous oil, iodine, iron, phosphates, 
potash, with certain other mineral salts, a bitter extract, and 
water. Its volatile oil, which is rich in nitrogen combined with 
some sulphur, is the sulpho-cyanide of allyl. Thus this familiar 
plant is so constituted as to be particularly curative of scrofulous 
afiections. Dr. King Chambers writes (Diet in Health and 
Disease) : " I feel sure that the infertility, pallor, fetid breath, 
and bad teeth which characterize some of our town populations, 
are to a great extent due to their inability to get fresh anti- 
scorbutic vegetables as articles of diet ; therefore I regard the 
Water Cress seller as one of the saviours of her country." 



CRESSES. 227 



Tennyson, the faithful poet of nature, tells in the rippling 
musical metre of his famous Brook : — 

" I linger by my shingly bars, 
I loiter round my Cresses." 

Again, on account of its chemical constituents, this herb is 
deservedly extolled as specific against tubercular disease, 
particularly of the lungs. Haller says : " We have seen patients 
in deep decline cured by living almost entirely on this plant." 
Its active principles are at their best when the herb is in flower. 
The leaves remain green when grown in the shade, but become 
of a purple-brown (because of their iron) when exposed to 
abundant sunshine. In France the Water Cress, accompanied 
by oil and vinegar, is eaten at table, with chicken, or with a 
steak. The Englishman takes it at his morning, or evening 
meal, with bread and butter, or at dinner in a salad. The plant 
contains 2 per cent of sugar, and a little starch. 

" Our Cambrian Fathers, sparing in their food, 
First broird their hunted goats on bars of wood : 
Sharp hunger was their seasoning ; or, they took 
Such salt as issued from the native rock ; 
Their sallading was never far to seek. 
The poinant watercress, and sav'ry leek." — Art of Cookery. 

The Latin name Nasturtium has been given to this Water Cress 
because of its pungency when bruised and smelt at, from nasus, 
a nose, and tortus, turned away ; it being, so to say, " a herb 
that writhes, or twists, the nose." 

The true Nasturtium (Tropasolum majus), or Indian Cress, is 
cultivated in our gardens as an ornamental creeper, with brilliant 
orange-red flowers, and producing familiar " nuts," or " cheeses," 
resembling those of the mallow ; which serve also as a substitute 
for capers in pickle. This plant partakes of the sensible and 
useful qualities of the other Cresses. The flowers make a 
pretty, palatable, and wholesome addition to salads ; the bruised 
leaves emit a pungent smell ; whilst the flowers by themselves 
(resembling golden helmets) give out a quite distinct, and 
delicious scent. 

For the cleansing and healing of scrofulous sores a Water Cress 
cataplasm, appUed cold, in a single layer, and with a pinch of 
salt sprinkled thereon, makes a most useful poultice ; as also 
for resolving glandular swellings. Water Cresses squeezed and 



228 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

laid against warts were reputed by the Saxon leeches to work a 
certain cure on these excrescences. Herrick, the joyous poet 
of " dull Devonshire," dearly loved the Water Cress, and its 
kindred herbs. He piously and pleasantly made them the 
subject of a quaint grace before meat : — 

" Lord, I confess, too, when I dine. 
The pulse is Thine ; 
And all those other bits that be 

There placed by Thee : 
The wurts, the perslane, and the mess 
Of watercress." 

Persons who drink too freely overnight, appreciate the Water 
Cress for its power of dissipating the fumes of the liquor next 
morning. 

The Garden Cress (called Lepidium sativum, from satum, a 
pasture) is the sort which is commonly coupled with the herb 
Mustard in our familiar " Mustard and Cress." It has been 
grown in England since early in the sixteenth century, and its 
other name. Town Cress, refers to its being cultivated in " tonnes," 
or enclosures. The plant contains sulphur, and a special ardent 
volatile medicinal oil. Its small leaves, in combination with 
those of our white Garden Mustard, are excellent for relieving 
rheumatism, and gout. This Cress is further a preventive of 
scurvy, by reason of its mineral salts. " Being green," said 
Wm. Coles, in his Paradise of Plants (1650), " and therefore 
more qualified by reason of its humidity, the Garden Cress is 
eaten by country people, either alone with butter, or with lettice, 
and purslane, in sallets, or otherwise." It was known of old 
as '' Passerage " (from passer, to drive away, and rage, madness) 
because of its reputed power to expel hydrophobia. Thus the 
twin plants Mustard and Cress are happily consorted for 
invalid use, playing a common curative part like the " two 
single gentlemen rolled into one " of George Colman the younger. 
As already stated, they are especially rich in curative volatile 
salts during April and May. By a fortunate correspondence 
it is in the spring time that scrofulous and scorbutic afEections 
become most active, because of the bodily humours being then 
in a ferment. " How to know ye King's Evill," as stated in the 
Arcana Fairfaxiana (1610), " is to take a grounde worme alive, 
and lay him upon ye swelling, or sore, and cover him with a 
leafe. Yf it be ye disease ye worme will change, and turn into 
earth ; yf it be not, he will remain whole, and sounde." 



CUCUMBER. 229 



CUCUMBER. 



Belonging to the Melon tribe of plants, our Cucumber {Cucumis 
sativus) has been known and cultivated in North Western India 
for more than three thousand years. This is the only fruit we 
eat while still green without being cooked. Speaking generally, 
it is thought to be a questionable article of food, except for persons 
of rude, vigorous digestive powers. " But," says the Boston 
School Cooking Magazine (1897), " when eaten before the seeds 
are hardened, fresh from the vine, and without adding vinegar, 
or soaking in salt water, the Cucumber is more wholesome, 
nourishing, and digestible than the apple." Dr. Hutchison 
now tells us, on the contrary, that the Cucumber contains only 
i per cent of sohds in its whole bulk, and is a type of one of the 
least nourishing of vegetables. Yet it must be said that for 
centuries past, the Cucumber has formed the staple diet of the 
people of Persia. In the time of our English George the First, 
a want of courage was popularly imputed to tailors, insomuch 
that nine of these pusillanimous worthies were needed to make 
one man ; and, as report went, " 'Tis the opinion of our curious 
virtuosos that their lack of bravery ariseth from the immoderate 
eating of Cucumbers, which too much refrigirate their blood." 
" I be that fond ov cowcumbers," says the Devon peasant, 
" I ciide aight um tii ivery meal, but I can't digest um." Forty 
years or more ago even persons of title would talk of " Cow- 
cumbers " ; whilst apple pie, and cherry pie, were the correct 
things, all the others being tarts. In the Levant, writes Tavernier, 
" If a child cries for something to eat, a raw Cucumber is given 
to it instead of bread." 

The fact is well worthy of notice here that if our garden herb, 
the Salad Burnet {Poterium sanguisorba, so called quod sanguineos 
fluxus sistat) be more cultivated, and used, its small, finely-cut 
leaves, which have a distinct flavour of Cucumber, may be 
substituted, so as to convey without any disagreement of digestion 
the desired flavour to those delicate persons who are debarred 
from taking the real thing. These leaves when put into a 
cool tankard " give," says Gerarde, " a grace in the drynkynge." 
Allied to the Salad Burnet is the Pimpernel, Pimpinella, contain- 
ing saponin, such as the Soapwort also furnishes. These herbs 
are of approved utility for subduing irritation of the urinary 
passages. Also' as to the wild Pimpernel, or familiar little 



230 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



"Poor Man's Weather-glass," its decoction is held in esteem 
by country folk for checking pulmonary consumption in its 
early stages. Hill says there are many authenticated cases 
of this formidable disease having been absolutely cured by the 
said herb. Both it and the Soapwort (Miss Mitford's " Spicer," 
in Our Village), exercise special virtues against inveterate 
syphilis. The Cucumber tribe of plants {Cucurbitacece) includes 
the Colocynth, which is a powerful purgative, and the Bryony, 
which is highly poisonous. A certain acrid principle pervades 
the whole order ; when this is greatly diffused, as in our 
cultivated Cucumber, the Water Melon, and the Pumpkin, 
the fruits are edible, and even delicious. But the stem end 
of the Cucumber is generally bitter, and the whole vegetable 
proves with some persons somewhat laxative. When the 
wife of the great Socrates threw a teapot, or something 
less refined, at his erudite head, he remained " as cool as a 
Cucumber " (Colman's Heir at Law). Cucumber ointment, of 
modern manufacture, from the juice of the green pulp, mixed 
with lard, suet, and rose water, is remarkably emollient, cooling, 
and healing, whilst grateful to the sense of smell. The Germans 
put Cucumbers in salt until they undergo a vinous fermentation ; 
the Dutch treat them with hot pepper. 

CURRANTS. 

(Foe Garden Currants — Black, Bed and White — See Fruits.) 

The dried Currants which are put into mince pies, cakes, and 
puddings are small grapes grown originally at Zante, near 
Corinth, and hence named Corinthians ; then they became 
Corantes, and eventually Currants. Presently the name of 
Currants was transferred in the Epirus to certain small fruits 
of the gooseberry order which closely resembled the grapes 
of Zante, but were identical rather, with the fruit Currants 
growing on bushes in our kitchen gardens. The grocers' 
Currants of to-day come from the Morea, being small grapes- 
dried in the sun, and put in heaps to cake together ; then they 
are dug out with a crowbar, and trodden into casks for exporta- 
tion. Our national plum pudding cannot be properly made 
without including a good proportion of these Currants. Former 
cooks, as we learn from a poet of the middle ages : 

" Buttered currants on fat veal bestowed. 
And rumps of beef with virgin honey strewed." 



CURRY. 231 

In Manchester sandwiches made with these Currants, and 
known as Eccles Cakes, are very popular. When Alice (in 
Wonderland) had dwindled down alarmingly to a diminutive 
stature, she found a little glass box lying under the table of 
the Rabbits' hole Hall, and containing a very small cake, on 
which the words " Eat me " were beautifully marked in Currants. 
She ate a little bit, and then said anxiously to herself, " Which 
way ? which way ? " " Curioser, and curioser," cried Alice ; 
" now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was." 
The small Corinthian Raisins, or " Currants," were formerly 
known as " Passulse Minores " ; they have a vinous odour, and 
a sweet, acidulous taste ; the pulp is demulcent, but the skin 
is hard, wrinkled, and seldom completely digested. In a certain 
large lunatic asylum, where the patients partook commonly of 
Currant buns, the tough fruit skins, almost unchanged by any 
digestive process, were found by the bushel at the bottom of 
the washing-tub in which the dirty linen had been put to soak. 
" Eleven milHon bacteria," says a German scientist, " inhabit 
the skins of every half pound of Currants. It would be no small 
job to remove the skin from each Currant in accordance with 
the latest recommendation of science, but much better to work 
half a day over a saucerful than be dead the rest of one's life ! 
Similarly, too, by the time Tomatoes are peeled to get rid of the 
surface bacteria, and seeded to avoid the danger of appendicitis, 
there won't be much left, to be sure ; but then what remains 
will at least be healthful." From these Currants a sweet, oily 
kind of wine is made in Greece. 

CURRY. 

By Curry we understand a condimentary compound made of 
such spices (powdered) as Capsicum, Coriander, Ginger, Caraway, 
Cardamom seeds. Cassia, Chillies, Cloves, Cubebs, Cumin-fruit 
lobes. Fennel, Garlic, Mace, Mustard, Pepper, Nutmeg, Allspice, 
Fenugreek, and Turmeric resin in powder. Curry as a dish is 
of immemorial use in India. The word is derived from a native 
term " Kari," used by the natives to denote the leaf of a plant 
belonging to the Orange tribe, Murraya exotica. This leaf always 
forms an integral part of the Tamil Curries. Other authorities 
declare that the word Kari signifies a relish, or sauce, or even the 
" bazaar " where spices are bought. In India there are at least 



232 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

three separate classes of Curry — the Bengal, the Madras, and 
the Bombay. Oi these the first is the purest, and best, the 
high old superlative Curry. The Bengal chef excels most in 
fish and vegetable Curries. Bombay boasts of its special gifts 
in bombelon fish, and its popedones. Sir George Birdwood 
insists on always including in a Curry the leaf, or its essence, 
of the Murraya kcenigii. Others advocate the grated pulp of 
a cocoanut, with a little of its milk. The Curry powder must 
be thoroughly cooked with the dish, and not merely added 
thereto at the last moment. Rice forms the invariable adjunct 
to every dish of Curry, this being first washed in several waters 
before it is cooked. Curried rice is very useful for serving with 
eggs, or for adding to mulligatawny. It is prepared by putting 
half a pint of rice in a saucepan with a dessertspoonful of good 
Curry powder, and one of finely-chopped onion ; season with 
salt, and pour over it one pint of boiling water. Let it cook 
About ten minutes, or till nearly done (it should soak up all the 
water) ; stir it up well. Lay a clean cloth over the saucepan, 
and put it to stand in a warm place until required. It is always 
better for standing an hour to dry, and finish cooking. Some 
rice will require a little more water. The several condiments 
which are employed in mixing Curry powder, as already signified, 
exercise each some special virtue as a medicament, which 
reference thereto under its particular heading here will explain, 
and will indicate its special use. 

In the early English Forms of Cury (1390), two " Cury," or 
Curry powders are supplied, "forte," and "douce," which gave 
a designation accordingly to certain highly-spiced indigenous 
dishes of that date. Curries are therefore (as Dr. Thudicum 
alleges) native also to England, and by no means an exclusive 
importation from Hindustan. Sir J. C. Tennent, of Ceylon, 
has, however, praised the unrivalled excellence of the Singhalese 
in the preparation of their innumerable Curries, each of which 
is tempered by the delicate creamy juice expressed from the 
flesh of the cocoanut. For domestic Curry, butter, if it can be 
afforded, should be used instead of dripping ; and half a teacupful 
of shredded cocoanut, with a sour apple, chopped fine, should 
be added before stewing. A plain Curry is made in India even 
of toasted bread, cut in dice, and fried brown. For a vegetable 
Curry, chop four onions, and four apples ; put them in a pan 
with a quarter of a pound of butter, and let them fry a light 



CURRY. 233 



brown ; add a tablespoonful of Curry powder, a little stock 
or milk, and some salt. This is a digestible, warming dish. 

Those of the ingredients contained in Curry powder which do 
not find detailed notice in these pages, may be shortly summarized 
as to any remarkable properties. Cardamom seeds are from a 
plant allied to ginger, being brought from Bombay, and Madras ; 
they are aromatic by reason of a volatile oil, which is fragrant, and 
is found to contain manganese. Cassia is a cheaper and coarser 
kind of Cinnamon, for which it makes a fairly excellent substitute. 
Coriander, an umbelliferous herb, furnishes aromatic seeds, 
being now grown for the purpose in Essex ; these seeds are 
cordial, but riarcotic if used too freely ; the green herb (seeds 
and all) stinks intolerably of bugs ; nevertheless the fruits are 
generally blended with Curry powder. By the Chinese the 
Coriander seeds are believed able to confer immortality. The 
Manna of the Israelites is likened (in the Book of Numbers) to 
Coriander seed ; and nowadays this seed is often mixed with 
bread in the north of Europe. Cumin is common in Egypt as 
a fruit of which the seeds, in odour and properties, closely 
resemble caraways, but are stronger. These seeds are put into 
bread in Germany, and into cheese in Holland. The volatile 
oil of the fruit contains cymol, and cuminol, which are redolent 
of lemon, and caraway odours ; it signally diminishes nervous 
reflex excitability when given from two to six drops on a small 
lump of sugar. Fenugreek (or Faenum grmcum) is an Indian 
fodder plant, its seeds having a strong smell, and a bitter oily 
taste, these being mucilaginous and emollient, like linseed, or 
the marsh mallow. Turmeric, which gives the yellow gamboge 
colour to Curry when served at table, possesses tubers which 
yield a deep yellow powder of a resinous character. The Cubeb 
is a pepper from Java, possessing an odorous volatile oil, and a 
resin, contained in the dried berries of a climbing shrub ; these 
principles will stimulate the intestines against constipation, and 
diffuse warmth ; furthermore, they will serve to soothe irritable 
urinary passages. All such Spices, and tropical condiments 
prove of valuable antiseptic use against Cholera, Fever, and 
Dysentery, by destroying the microbes of these diseases. Curry 
powder, therefore, as a whole, if genuine, is undoubtedly a 
combination which exercises divers medicinal effects of a 
salutary sort when taken at table. 

Chutney, again, or Chutnee, is in the East Indies well known 



234 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

and esteemed as a condiment, composed of sweet and acid spices, 
tte usual ingredients being ripe fruit (mangoes, tamarinds, 
cocoanut, and raisins), with sour herbs, also Cayenne, and lime- 
juice. These are powdered, and boiled together, being either 
ased straightway, as in making stews, and Curries, or bottled 
for future occasions. Likewise Mulligatawny is a spiced, or 
curried soup, of hashed chicken and rice. It has derived its 
Indian name from the Tamil words " moUegoo," pepper, and 
" tumnee," water. This said " fefperwater" is useful as a sauce 
to accompany rice. English cooks employ broth as a foundation. 

CYGNET. 

By the Romans the Swan, first deprived of its sight, was fattened 
for the table. In Chaucer's time the meat of a plump Swan 
was evidently in favour for giving a good ruddy complexion to 
the men of that day. We read respecting the Monk, in the 
Canterbury Tales (1385) :— 

" Now certainly he was a fayre prelat ; 
He was not pale, as a forpined gost ; 
A fat swan loved he best of any rost." 

Pepys tells in his Diary (January 19th, 1662) : " To Mr. Povy's, 
where really I made a most excellent, and large dinner, he 
bidding us, in a frolique, to call for what we had a mind, and he 
would undertake to give it us ; and we did, for prawns, Swan, 
venison, after I had thought the dinner was quite done, and he 
did immediately produce it, which I thought great plenty." 
In more modern days a different experience is recorded : " When 
I was a girl my father shot a Swan — a wild one, as he thought — 
passing over our village before a storm. Alas ! it belonged to 
a nobleman, his dearest friend, and was only taking a frisk 
round on its own account from the lonely lake where it lived. 
That bird was skinned for its plumage, and throughout many 
winters I was the envy of the whole village with a boa, mufi, 
and cufEs of Swansdown feathering. The slaughtered bird was 
straightway spitted for roasting, and basting. Oh ! the smel) 1 ! 
Whitby alter a great catch of herrings wouldn't have been 
in it ! The maids turned sick, my grandmother and aunts 
followed suit, also my grandfather ; furthermore, a groom called 
in for the job turned sick in like fashion ; and then, with the 
confidence of youth, I volunteered to baste that Swan ! At 



DA TE. 235 

last, amid great excitement, he was ready, with the gravy made, 
and a dish found big enough to hold him ; and then with a 
solemn procession of the family he was served in state. Several 
of the neighbours came in to have a taste ; but, sad to relate, 
a taste was enough ! Of all the tough, stringy, fishy meats 
I ever tried, that Swan was the worst ! Our efEorts ended with 
hacking just a few slices from the breast ; but what the legs and 
wings were like was left unproved. The mistake was that this 
old Swan had long passed the Cygnet stage." 

There is, or was, a Swan pit at Norwich, where Cygnets had 
their abode for table purposes, being specially fed with this 
view ; and it has been declared that a wild Swan, if killed when 
young, equals in appetizing flavour a wild duck. The Cygnet 
should be prepared and trussed like a goose, receiving a stufllng 
of which three pounds of minced rump steak are an essential 
ingredient ; it is then wrapped in oiled paper, next in water- 
paste, and again oiled paper, and roasted like venison ; the 
package requires roasting for at least four hours before a large 
fire on the spit. It must be frequently basted with butter 
made liquid by melting. Or, it would be far preferable (says 
Dr. Thudicum) to bake the Cygnet in a good oven. The popular 
notion, derived from Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls, has no 
foundation in fact, that " The jealous Swan agens hire deth that 
syngeth." In Germany giblet pie is a well-known dish, the 
giblets being stewed with pork chops, and pears, whilst flavoured 
with sugar, and cloves. The giblets of a Cygnet are esteemed 
an ambrosial morsel, and form a lordly dish. In England, on 
the Thames-side, a supper of two Cygnets is served annually 
for appreciative guests at the " Coach and Horses Inn," Barnes. 

DATE. 

The fruit of the Date Palm {PhcBnix dactylifera), or Tree of Life, 
is the most nourishing ot all our imported tree products, by 
reason of its abundant, and luscious sweetness. The name 
Phoenix has been bestowed on the Date Palm, because a young 
shoot springs always from the withered stump of an old decayed 
Date tree, taking the place of the dead parent ; and the specific 
term " dactylifera " refers to the fancied resemblance between 
the fruit clusters and the human fingers. Children especially 
appreciate dates, and benefit by their plentiful sugar (about 



236 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

an ounce to the pound), which is readily digested, and which 
freely furnishes bodily warmth, and fat. With such a view 
doctors now likewise advise Dates for consumptive patients ; 
moreover, by their mucilage these serve to soothe an irritable 
chest, and to promote expectoration ; again, they tend to obviate 
a costive state of the bowels. The Arabs say that Adam, when 
expelled from Paradise, took with him three things — the Date 
(chief of all fruits), the Myrtle, and an ear of Wheat for seed. 
Those Dates which surpass all others in general excellence, are 
grown with much care at Tafilat, inland from Morocco. Dates 
of a second quality are brought from Tunis, intermixed with 
fragments of stalk, and branch ; whilst the inferior sorts come 
in the form of a cake, or paste, being pressed into baskets. 
Dates will as a food prevent exhaustion, and will help to keep 
active the energies of mind, and body. The fruit should be 
selected when large and soft, being moist, and of a reddish- 
yellow colour outside, and not much wrinkled, whilst having 
withia a white membrane between the flesh and the stone. 
In a clever parody on Bret Harte's " Heathen Chinee, " an 
undergraduate at one of the Universities is detected in having 
surreptitiously primed himself before examination thus : — 

" Inscribed on his cuffs were the Furies and Fates, 
With a delicate map of the Dorian States ; 
Whilst they found in his palms, which were hollow. 
What are common in Palms, namely, dates." 

A conserve is prepared by the Egyptians from unripe Dates, 
whole, with sugar ; the soft stones, being then edible, are 
included ; and this jam, though comparatively tasteless, is very 
nourishing. Oriental writers have attributed to the Date Palm 
a certain semi-human consciousness. The carbohydrate of 
Dates is almost solely sugar. Half a pound of the fruit, and 
half a pint of new milk, will make an ample satisfying repast for 
a person engaged in sedentary work. An ounce of Dates 
contains twenty-seven grains of proteid (primary food-elements). 
In Arabia milch cows, and donkeys, are fed with unripe Dates 
boiled down with the ground stones, and with fish-bones. For 
Date-bread, which is nutritious, and gently laxative : " Break 
the Dates apart, wash, and drain them in a colander ; shake 
them well, and set them in a warm place to dry. Stone, and 
chop enough to make a cupful, and knead into a loaf of white, 
or brown bread, just before setting it to rise for the last time." 



DIET. 237 

Again, for stewed Dates : " Break the Dates apart, and wash 
them first in cold water, then in hot water ; drain them, and 
cover with cold water. Cook for a very few minutes until 
tender ; take out the fruit, add a little sugar to the water, and 
boil for five minutes ; pour it over the Dates, and set tljem 
away to become cold." Among fruits which serve to strengthen 
the sexual functions may be specially reckoned the Date. A 
lesson of interdependence as to the power of the small to assist 
the great is taught by a proverb, " The Date-stone props up 
the water-jar." Tafilat Dates, even when of excellent quality, 
soon become dry, and tough on exposure, after being pur- 
chased from the grocer; but their succulence and plumpness 
may be retained by putting them into a good-sized glass 
prune-bottle, with a screw metal top, sprinkling them freely 
therein with moist sugar, and a teaspoonful or two of water 
for moisture. 

DIET. 

" 'Tis the art of eating which makes for years," says a sage 
proverb, and nothing can better promote this art for personal 
benefit than a sufficiently accurate knowledge of food elements, 
and their respective uses in the body. Broadly speaking, the 
sustenance on which we depend for the support of our lives 
comprehends animal and vegetable substances, besides our 
beverages. The more readily and thoroughly these substances 
are absorbed for supplying our physical needs, the better adapted 
are they for the purposes required. Eesidual matters are voided 
as excrementitious, the fact being, nevertheless, that the fseces 
passed by stool consist not simply of the remains of unabsorbed 
foods, but also to a considerable extent of superfluous digestive 
secretions, and the debris of intestinal linings^ On a purely 
animal diet (of milk, eggs, and beef, or mutton) there is but 
little primary food-constituent (nitrogen) lost in the excrement ; 
but when vegetable foods are mainly taken (carrots, potatoes, 
peas, and the like) the waste of nitrogen is very considerable, 
amounting, as, for instance, in the case of carrots, to nearly 
40 per cent of the whole primary elements consumed. 

The foodstuffs, again, which provide bodily warmth, and 
serve to fatten, are termed by chemists carbohydrates, contain- 
ing twice as much hydrogen as oxygen ; these include fruit- 
sugar, cane-sugar, milk-sugar, starch, and the same when made 



238 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



soluble by the saliva, being then known as dextrine ; also 
cellulose, the basis of vegetable structures. Starch, and the 
sugars, are almost completely digested by a healthy person, and 
are sucked up into the blood nearly to the last particle ; it being 
at the same time an important circumstance that a relatively 
larger amount of primary food-constituents is excreted by the 
bowels on a vegetable than on an animal diet. " Why these 
primary constituents of vegetable foods should be so much less 
completely absorbed than the other ingredients is difficult to say." 
Human saliva is peculiarly rich in the ferment (diastase) which 
changes insoluble starches of foods into soluble dextrine, being 
richer apparently than the saliva of any other animal. The 
human stomach and the human brain are justly said to be the 
only analysts which never make mistakes. 

It is on material food, comprising the particular constituents 
now discussed, reliance must be placed for supplying vital energy, 
and bodily health ; nitrogen as primary nourishment, and carbon 
as fuel, being the chief elements. Nitrogen enters the body 
as such, and leaves it as waste urea ; carbon enters the body 
as fat, starch, and sugar, leaving it in carbon dioxide. Gain 
or loss of nitrogen signifies gain or loss of flesh-tissues, whilst 
gain or loss of carbon signifies gain or loss of fatty deposits, and 
of bodily warmth. In dealing with weak or impaired digestions 
the cook can render valuable aid by carrying out as regards the 
food one or other of three distinct processes; each of these serves 
to commence the digestion of food by culinary skill before it 
is given to the invalid, so that the digestive powers are 
thus considerably economized : First, by malting, or pre- 
digesting the starches ; secondly, by mixing with the meat 
foods and albuminoids some pepsin, or such ferment as converts 
these foods into soluble peptones ; and, thirdly, by making an 
emulsion with sweetbread- juice of the fatty food which has to 
be digested after leaving the stomach, whilst within the first 
bowels. 

" We may live without poetry, music, or art. 
We may live without conscience, and live without heart, 
We may live without friends, we may live without books ; 
But civilized man cannot live without cooks." 

Witty Mr. Punch has lately anticipated the substitution of 
clean, clever electricity for cooking, in place of black, smutty, 
<!lumsy kitchen coal, with its dust, and its difficulties of transport. 



DIET. 239 

Then, instead of a hot, fiery task, disastrous to the temper, and 
comfort of the cook, it will be a recreative amusement for ladies 
to prepare the daily dinner. 

" You need only turn a handle, and the soup is boiling hot, 
Appetising odours rising from the hospitable pot. 
Turn another, and the salmon in its mayonnaise lies fair ; 
Press a button, and the mutton, with the currant jelly's there; 
Press again, and sweets, and entrees will at once appear in sight. 
And you'll fall to, on them all too, with a first-class appetite." 

A diet of lean meat exclusively will build up the tissues, but 
if nothing else be taken, then the fat already stored up in the 
body will be fed upon, and consumed, so that the person will 
become thinner. Bismarck, by the advice of his physician, 
reduced his bulk in this way without any loss of energy, or any 
sense of illness. Again, we have to depend upon what we eat 
and drink for mental power, and intellectual capabilities. " So 
many factors," says the Century Invalid Cookery Book, " enter 
into the make-up of a thought, that it cannot be said that any 
particular kind of food will ultimately produce a poem ; but 
of this we may be sure, that the best work, the noblest thoughts, 
the most original ideas, will not come from a dyspeptic, underfed, 
or m any way ill-nourished individual." Swift, as a writer, was 
fully alive to this fact. " I wish you a merry Lent," quoth he, 
in a letter to Stella (March 5th, 1711). " I hate Lent ! I hate 
difierent diets, and furmity, and butter, and herb porridge, and 
sour devout faces of people who only put on religion for seven 
weeks." Not that a highly elaborate diet is essential for vigour 
of brain. " Hominis cibus utUissimus simplex," said Phny 
authoritatively. 

" Nam variae res 
Ut noceaut homini oredas, memor illius escae 
QusB simplex tibi sederit." 

" For, divers meats do hurt ; remember how 
When to one dish confined thou healthier was't than now." 

Horace Walpole, writing from Norfolk (1743) to his friend John 
Chute, put the matter thus : " Indeed, my dear Sir, you certainly 
did not use to be stupid ; and till you give me more substantial 
proof that you are so, I shall not believe it. As for your 
temperate diet, and milk, bringing about such a metamorphosis, 
I hold it impossible. I have such lamentable proofs every day 
before my eyes of the stupef jring qualities of ale, beer, and wine, 



240 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

that I have contracted a most religious veneration for your 
spiritual nouriture. Only imagine that I here every day see 
men who are mountains of roast beef, and who only seem just 
roughly hewn out into the outlines of human form, like the great 
rock at Pratelino ! I shudder when I see them brandish their 
knives in act to carve, and I look on them as savages that devour 
one another. I shouldn't stare at all more than I do if your 
Alderman at the lower end of the table was to stick his fork into 
his neighbour's jolly cheek, and cut a brave slice of brown and 
fat ! Why, I swear I see no difference between a country 
gentleman and a sirloin ; whenever the first laughs, or the 
second is cut, there run out just the same streams of gravy." 
In Moxon's Life of Edmund Kean, the famous actor, we are told 
that Mossop, another stage celebrity, chose his dish to suit the 
character he was about to assume : " Broth," said he, " for 
tone ; roast pork for tyrants ; steaks with ' Measure for Measure ' ; 
boiled mutton for lovers ; pudding for Tancred, etc." James 
Howell, contemporary with Sir Kenelm Digby (1603), com- 
mended to Lady Wallis a Spanish cook " who hath intellectuals, 
and senses ; mutton, beef, and bacon are to her as the will, 
understanding, and memory are to the soul. Cabbage, Turnip, 
Artichoke, Potatoes, and Dates are her five senses, and Pepper 
the common sense. She must have marrow to keep life in her, 
and some birds to make her light." 

As to. the question of how to maintain the body properly 
nourished under adverse conditions, " Like all divine truths," 
said Dr. K. Chambers, " to love your neighbour as yourself is 
found to be taught by material nature as well as by revelation. 
Respecting the efEect of practical benevolence, and philanthropy, 
upon our race, the fact is highly convincing that directly a man 
begins to care for others in preference to himself alone, his cares 
cease to wear and exhaust him. There rather seems to be 
herein a sustaining force. This is the reason why in sieges, and 
famine, medical men have often remained sleek, and plump, 
while their neighbours pined; and perhaps also why military 
officers bear short rations better than the men." As to regulating 
the food in quantity, or precise chemical constitution, according 
to tables of percentages, and the like, which are dry calculations 
(in a double sense) rather than of any sure practical use for 
individual consumers, we may take a lesson from the Captain 
Gulliver of Swift's tale; " for whom a coat, waistcoat, and 



DIET. 241 

breeches were constructed on abstract principles by the pragmatic 

tailor at Laputa, these garments turning out therefore the worst 

suit of clothes ever had in the Captain's life." It will 

certainly prove a similar failure to overlook the numberless 

contingencies in the daily life, and the numberless personal 

peculiarities of those who seek advice about their diet, and 

daily regimen. Dr. Talmage, of New York City, preached 

the doctrine that a man's food, when he has opportunities of 

selecting it, suggests his moral nature : " Many a Christian 

tries to do by prayer that which cannot be wrought except 

by correcting his meat and drink." 

To sum up the whole question of a man's diet, " surely the 

teaching of pathology amounts to this, that the fortifying of the 

general resistance of the individual against illness, and disease, 

is the most important indication of all to be fulfilled. Real true 

advances in the prevention, and cure, of diseases always tend 

to simplification ; and the truest fundamental therapeutic 

remedies are fresh air, stinshine, excellent plain food in ample 

quantities, and regulated exercises mainly out of doors. This, 

certainly, is the innermost purpose of what is now called the 

Sanatorium treatment." Also, " the food of a nation," writes 

Dr. Andrew Wilson, " is largely determined by its geographical 

boundaries ; dyspepsia seems to be often a matter of geography. 

The Northman can eat, enjoy, and assimilate what would 

certainly kill the Southerner ; and conversely the food of the 

latter would fail to nourish the former. When one is in Rome, 

or South Africa, or Finland, it is best as far as possible to adapt 

one's feeding arrangements to the environments, unless of a very 

temporary nature. This plan will be found to work out better 

than adherence to the customary home-diet rules. It is quite 

possible therefore to imagine persons who must perforce pursue 

a strictly careful* dietary regimen at home, getting along 

famously well on biltong and coffee when settling down in South 

Africa." 

" A widow has cold pye ; Nurse gives you cake ; 
From gen'rous merchants ham, or sturgeon take. 
The farmer has brown bread, as fresh as day. 
And butter fragrant as the dew of May." 

Art of Cookery (1708). 

A well-known physician of Bradford says {Medical Afhorisms) : 
" The meaning which doctors intend when enjoining care about 

16 



242 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

diet siould be interpreted thus : If you are excessively careful 
you will eat only once a day, say about eight ounces of mixed 
diet ; if you are very careful you will eat twice daily, eight ounces 
at one meal, and four ounces at the other, of ordinary mixed 
diet ; if you are moderately careful you will eat thrice a day, 
eight ounces at one meal, and from four to six ounces at each 
of the other two ; say at 8 a.m., at 1 p.m., and at 7 or 8 p.m. ; 
if you are careless you will eat four times a day, from two to 
three pounds in all of ordinary food ; if you are reckless you 
will eat five times daily, to the amount of four or five pounds 
of ordinary mixed diet. I know not what epithet to bestow on 
those who eat oftener than five times a day, and yet I have met 
with persons who ate eight times daily, and one person who ate 
ten times." 

DRINKS. 

(See Alb, Beee, Coffee, Mineral Waters, Tea, Water, and Wines). 

A Spring beverage which in former days went by the name of 
May-drink in England, and several parts of Europe, was flavoured 
with the garden herb Sweet Woodruff {Asperula odorata) ; this, 
by reason of the coumarin it contains, is scented like the Sweet 
Vernal Grass of our meadows, and the Sweet Clover, each being 
most fragrant when freshly dried ; such coumarin powerfully 
stimulates the brain. Withering tells that " the strongly 
aromatic flowers of Sweet WoodruS will make an infusion 
exceeding in spicy flavour even the choice teas of China.'' The 
powdered leaves are also mixed with fancy snuffs because of their 
enduring fragrance. Another species of the same herb is the 
Quinsy Woodruff {Asperula cynanchioa), so called because a 
most useful gargle can be made from this plant by infusion in 
boiling water, against quinsy (cynanche), or other such sore 
throat. " Ahem ! " as Dick Smith said when he swallowed the 
sponge, teaching to bear troubles bravely, and not to make a 
fuss about trifles. This herb is to be found growing in dry 
pastures, especially on a chalky soil ; it has tufts of lilac flowers, 
and very narrow leaves. The Sweet Woodruff has small white 
blossoms set on a slender stalk, with narrow leaves growing 
around it in successive whorls, like the common well-known 
G-oose-grass, or Cleavers. 

The lassitude felt in hot weather on its first access in early 



DUCK. 243 

summer, may be well met by an infusion of Hop leaves, strobiles, 
and stalks, as Hop-tea, to be taken by the wineglassful two or 
three times in the day ; whilst a more vigorous action of the 
biliary organs is also stimulated thereby. The popular nostrum 
" Hop-bitters " is thus made : Of Hops (dried), half a pound ; 
of Buchu leaves, two ounces ; boil these in iive quarts of water 
in an iron vessel for an hour ; when it is lukewarm, add thereto 
Essence of Wintergreen [Pyrola], two ounces, and one pint of 
spirit (Brandy, Whisky, or Gin). Take one tablespoonful three 
times a day before eating ; it will improve the appetite consider- 
ably. Horehound Beer is much drunk by the natives in Norfolk. 
Again, Balm tea is highly restorative. Borage has a cucumber- 
like flavour, and when compounded with lemon, and sugar, added 
to Claret, and water, it makes a delicious " cool tankard " as a 
summer drink. A tea brewed from Broom tops, with bruised 
Juniper berries, is famous for increasing the flow of urine, and 
relieving dropsy. Black Currant leaves make a fragrant infusion 
as a substitute for China, or Indian tea. A scented Orange- 
water is largely prepared in France from the flowers, which is 
often taken by ladies as a gentle sedative at night, when suffi- 
ciently diluted with Eau Sucrie (sugared water) ; thousands 
of gallons are drunk in this fashion every year. " There's 
nothin so refreshing as sleep. Sir ! " (quoth Sam Weller to his 
Master) " as the servant gal said afore she drank the eggcupful 
of laudanum." For, in the more serious language of Dr. 
Martineau, " God has so arranged the chronometry of our spirits 
that there shall be thousands of silent moments between the 
striking hours." Primrose tea exercises similar curative effects, 
though in a lesser degree, to those of the Cowslip ; it is excellent 
against nervous disorders of an hysterical nature. Sage leaves 
add pleasantly, and with benefit to the refreshing contents of 
the afternoon teapot ; and a Tamarind drink obviates putrid 
fevers. 

DUCK. 

The Duck {Anas), which has become included among our 
domesticated poultry for the table, is scarcely suited for persons 
of delicate stomach, because of its fat contained in large amount ; 
otherwise it makes a savoury, nutritious food. This grease is a 
great anodyne, and of good service against distempers of the 
nerves ; " anoynted it helps the pleurisie, and gout." Rouen, 



244 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

m France, is famous for the superiority of its ducklings, which 
are not bled to death as in this country, but are killed by thrusting 
a skewer through the brain, so that the blood is retained in the 
flesh of the bird. Sydney Smith has told of an arch-epicure 
on the Northern Circuit, about whom it was reported " he took 
to bed with him concentrated lozenges of Wild Duck so as to 
have the taste constantly renewed on his palate when waking 
in the night." Again, Douglas Jerrold has recorded it of a 
certain man, " he was so tender-hearted that he would hold an 
umbrella over a Duck in the rain." Though tasty, succulent 
birds. Ducks are somewhat foul feeders ; they will swallow any 
garbage, yet their preference is for slugs, and snails ;, if allowed 
to search for themselves in the early morning, and late evening 
they will soon fatten on these enemies of the gardener. By the 
early Romans the Duck, being a good swimmer, was sacrificed 
to Neptune. Plutarch assures us that Cato preserved in health 
his whole household through dieting them on roast Duck during 
a season when plague and disease were rife. In Brittany well- 
fatted Ducks are salted ; also the breasts are pickled, and 
smoked for a week, then dried, and storedi The Chinese esteem 
Ducks' tongues, when dried, as dainties. Our Aylesbury white- 
plumaged Duck commands the highest price in the market, but 
the fibre of its meat is harder, and richer, than that of white- 
fleshed poultry. Dr. Kitchener (1820) bids the cook " contrive 
to have the Ducks' feet delicately crisp, as some people are very 
fond of them ; to do which nicely you must have a sharp fire." 
As a " bonne bouche " with the roasted bird, " mix a teaspoonful 
of made mustard, a saltspoonful of salt, and a few grains of 
Cayenne in a large wineglassful of Claret, or Port wine ; pour 
•it into the Duck by a slit in the apron just before serving it up." 
By its brown meat, and abundant bird-fat, the Duck is particu- 
larly well suited for diabetic patients. This fat is in the 
domesticated bird lard-like, but in the related wild bird it is 
oily, and of more iodine value. The Chinese have a notion that 
such material food is acceptable! to their friends even after 
death. A white man who was interested in a Chinese funeral 
asked why a Duck was left on the grave. Did they suppose 
the dead man would come back in the spirit to eat it ? " Yeppe," 
replied the Boxer, " alle same as le white deadeeman come out 
and smelle flowers ! " Water-fowl, for some reason which is 
not explained, are npt regarded as meat by the Roman Catholic 



EEL. 245 



Church. Thus the Teal (Sarcelle) was pronounced some years 
ago by a conference of their leading ecclesiastics to be permissible 
for eating in Lent. But actuary this bird is in season only 
from September until February. 



EEL. 

Belonging to the AnguUlidw, or Snake tribe, the Eel shares 
in some respects the characteristics oi the Anguis, (or Choker), 
named thus on the same foundation as the Boa Constrictor. 
It is the hero of many fables, having been worshipped as a deity 
by the Egyptians. Later on the Eel stews of Mahommed the 
Second kept the whole Turkish Empire in a state of nervous 
excitement ; and, again, one of the Eel pies which King Philip 
failed to digest caused the Eevolt of the Netherlands. Jews 
decline to eat Eels, probably because of their similarity to 
serpents, which they formerly reverenced. An accolade of 
Eels on the spit used to be put every Saturday on the table of 
Anne of Austria, Queen of Louis XIII. The sea Eel contains 
9 per cent of fat, and the river Eel 25 per cent, with 34 per cent 
of nutritive substance ; this latter fish is well adapted as a food 
for the diabetic. For cooking, silver Eels should be chosen, fresh, 
brisk, and full of life ; " such as have been kept out of water 
till they can scarce stir are good for nothing." Yellow Eels 
taste muddy. In order to kill the creatures (which are most 
tenacious of life) instantly, the spinal marrow should be pierced 
close to the back part of the skull with a skewer sharply pointed ; 
if this be done in the right place all motion will instantly cease. 
The humane executioner favours certain criminals by " hanging 
them before he breaks them on the wheel." Eels were at one 
time a staple English food, since they supphed almost the only 
animal nourishment to which the poor could aspire. Likewise 
they were early favourites in the monasteries. About Italy 
Eels are eaten for breakfast, dinner, and supper by the masses ; 
they grow to a large size, and are reputed to be of excellent 
flavour. The Conger Eel, which is caught on our rooky coasts, 
and especially round the Channel Islands, is a much larger fish, 
with an average length of from three to four feet ; sometimes 
of even far more gigantic conditions — " Monstrum horrendum, 
informe, et ingens," weighing from seventy to eighty pounds. 
These Eels are dried by the French, and Italians, in the sun, when 



246 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

opened and flattened out, under the name of Conger douce. 
If ground down into powder they help to enrich soups by 
being admixed therewith, especially mock-turtle soup, according 
to Frank Buckland. Also the Conger Eel is cooked in a pie. 
Because of sometimes containing a special toxin, this Eel will 
occasionally induce a choleraic attack. " Though the fresh-water 
Eel, when dressed," writes Izaak Walton, " be excellent good, 
yet it is certain that physicians account it dangerous meat." 
" Eels," says Paulus Jovius (Burton), " he abhorreth in all 
places, and at all times ; every physician detests them, especially 
about the solstice." The Eel's blood contains a highly poisonous 
principle which asserts its dangerous properties if injected into 
the human blood, but which becomes inert under the process 
of digestion when Eels are taken as food. For Alice {in Wonder- 
land) an old Conger Eel was the " drawling master, who came 
once a week to teach drawling, stretching, and fainting in coils." 
The skin of an Eel is employed by negroes as a remedy against 
rheumatism. Formerly our sailors, when they wore pigtails 
of the hair behind the head, encased the same for protection, 
and neatness, in an Eel skin. Again, a " salt Eel " was formerly 
an Eel skin prepared for use as a whip. Pepys relates in his 
Diary (April 24, 166-3) : " Up betimes, and with my Salt Eele 
went down in the parlor, and there got my boy, and did beat 
him until I was faine to take breath two or three times." The 
skin of an Eel is hard, tough, and dark of colour, with an oily 
fat just underneath ; it can be pulled ofi like a stocking after 
first cutting a circular incision round the Eel's neck. Kobert 
Lovell (1661) protested that mud-begotten Eels " fill the body 
with many diseases ; they are worst in summer, but never 
wholesome." And a curious old ballad tells the same story as 
having befallen " the croodlin' doo " : — 

" O, whaur ha'e ye been a' the day, 
My little wee croodlin doo ? 

I've been at my grandmither's : 
Mak' my bed, mammie, noo ! 

" what gat ye at your grandmither's, 
My little wee croodlin doo ? 

1 got a bonnie wee fishie : 
Mak' my bed, mammie, noo ! 

" whaur did she catch the fishie. 
My little wee croodlin doo ? 
She catched it in the gutter hole : 
Mak' my bed, mammie, noo 1 



EEL. 247 

" And what did she do wi' the fishie, 
My little wee croodlin doo ? 
She boiled it in a brass pan : 
Mak' my bed, mammie, noo ! 

" And what did ye do wi' the banes o't, 
My little wee croodlin doo ? 
I gi'ed them to my little dog : 
Mak' my bed, mammie, noo ! 

" And what did your little doggie do, 
My little wee croodlin doo ? 
He stretched out his head, and feet, and dee'd : 
Mak' my bed, mammie, noo ! " 

The Lamprey {Petromyzon, stone-sucker) is in appearance 
like a small Eel, having a mouth like the large end of a funnel, 
and dotted all over with small hook-shaped teeth ; also with 
tiny sacs instead of gills — seven on each side of the body near 
the head. It is found principally in the Severn, the Thames, 
and in Scotch waters. Formerly but little use was made of it, 
except to be dried, and burnt as a candle. The flesh is sweet, 
and good, and of much nourishment : it increases lust, and by 
reason of its richness easily causes surfeits if much eaten. The 
truth is that Lampreys, and Lamperns, contain an abundance 
of fish oil, and are most profitable for persons of vivacious hectic 
temperament needing much caloric, and who betray consump- 
tive tendencies, because of its rapid expenditure in their bodies. 
King Henry the First lost his life by eating Lampreys to excess. 
They should be stewed in their own moisture, with spices, and 
beef gravy added, and a little Port wine. A Lamprey is first 
a Lampron, then a Lampret, then a Lamprell, and finally a 
Lamprey. The Lampern is the river sort (fluviatilis). It has 
been related that the Romans fed Lampreys on the dead bodies 
of slaves, and that PoUio Vedius ordered a living slave who had 
maliciously broken a glass vessel to be " thrown to the Lampreys " 
(as if they were wild beasts). Platina reproved the Popes and 
great folks of Rome for their luxury in Lampreys, which they 
drowned in Cyprus wine, with a nutmeg in the mouth, and a 
clove in each gill-hole. The Lampern of the Thames is much 
smaller than the Lamprey of the Severn. Pliny tells that 
" Antonia, the wife of Drusus, had a Lamprey at whose gills 
she hung jewels, or ear-rings ; and that other persons have been 
so tender-hearted as to shed tears at the death of fishes which 
they have kept, and loved." 



248 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



EGGS. 



The only complete food afforded by the animal kingdom is 
the egg : containing, as it does, all the alimentary substances 
required for the support, and maintenance of animal life. 
For their plentiful store of varied sustenance Eggs, in the hands 
of the cook, and the doctor, may be well described as veritable 

" Treasure houses wkerein lie. 
Locked by angels' alchemy. 
Milk and hair, and blood, and bone." 

The early Christians took the egg as a symbol of their hope as 
to the body's resurrection. Broadly speaking, the domestic 
fowl's egg consists of yolk and white as edible parts, within the 
hard shell made up chiefly of carbonate of lime. When compared 
with moderately lean meat the egg contains two-thirds as much 
primary food (proteid), twice as much fatty substance, twice as 
much ash, and about an equal quantity of water. The proteid 
includes what chemists call nuclein, which afiords phosphorus, 
as a nerve renovator, in organic combinations, some thereof being 
united to iron ; but this is not in the Egg a source of uric acid, 
else eggs would be improper for gouty persons. Nevertheless, 
Dr. Haig (whose personal experiences are in several respects 
exceptional), maintains that Eggs do actually cause an increased 
excretion of uric acid. He says " 1 gradually eliminated from 
my diet all articles which contained even the smallest quantity 
of egg, having obtained very distinct evidence that these, when 
taken every day, decidedly increased with me the excretion of 
uric acid." Dr. Hutchison supposes, " the white of Eggs to be 
unobjectionable food for grow'ng boys, but the yolk, though 
nearly a complete form of food (except for starches, which may 
be readily superadded by bread and butter), comprises something 
akin to the uric acid in meat. If it should be suspected that at 
any time the urine contains albumen, such as white of egg, 
then a simple bedside test which is sufficiently reliable may 
be easily employed. Four or five drops of the urine, as 
passed on first rising, should be put into a glass of clear 
hot water, when, if any albumen is present, it will be 
indicated by an opalescence. If the glass is held against 
a dark background, this opalescence will be very visible, and will 
be seen to spread through the water like a cloud of smoke. 
Phosphates in the urine will produce a similar appearance ; but 



EGGS. 249 

on adding a little white vinegar, or acetic acid, the cloud will then 
immediately disappear ; not so, however, if albumen be its 
cause. An average fowl's egg contains about one hundred grains 
of proteid food : as much of this, together with fat, as five ounces 
of new milk, but minus the sugar of milk. It is also reckoned 
to be the equivalent of rather under an ounce and a half of fat 
meat. The raw egg is somewhat laxative. Egg white is a capital 
substitute for raw meat juice. It consists of dissolved proteid 
enclosed within many thousands of cells ; when this egg white 
is beaten up the cell walls are ruptured, and the proteid food- 
matter escapes. Some twelve per cent of egg albumin is present 
in the egg white, this being in no way inferior as regards nutritive 
value to the proteids of meat, save as lacking its vital force. 
One egg yields rather more than an ounce of white; and if 
to this be added twice its volume of cold water, and the 
whole quantity be then strained through muslin, there will 
be obtained three ounces of a clear solution containing as 
much proteid as an average specimen of commercial beef-juice." 
All that then remains to be done is to stir into the same 
a little Liebig's extract dissolved in a teaspoonful, or so, of 
warm water. 

Animal albumin is thus to be got from the white of eggs ; it 
may also be obtained from the serum (or thin liquid) of the blood, 
or from the juices of uncooked meat. Eighty-four dozen eggs 
produce from one to two gallons of the white, and this yields 
fourteen per cent of commercial albumin, while the blood of live 
oxen will supply about two pounds. The albumin is prepared 
for commercial purposes in a dry state. Dr. Carpenter showed 
that during hard work on the part of a labourer, a larger supply 
than usual of albuminoid food is necessary. In chronic Bright' s 
disease, with passage of albumin from the kidneys in the urine, 
for the majority of cases the best food is that advised for gout, 
i.e., a diet only moderately rich in proteid, and that chiefly 
derived from vegetable sources, and from which diet soups, and 
all preparations containing the extractives of meat are excluded. 

The egg yolk contains lecithin, which embodies natural phos- 
phorus in its most assimilable form, and which will serve to admir- 
ably recruit exhausted nerve structures through their leading 
centres when lacking vital energy. A confection of this lecithin 
principle is prepared by chemists for the use of children. Apples 
likewise contain similar lecithin, as a phosphorated compound. 



250 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

such as exists naturally in nerve tissues, also in the blood, in fish 
sperm, and in certain of the cereals, as wheat and maize. When 
supplied in the yolk of eggs it stimulates the appetite, and leads 
quickly to an increase of bodily weight. The Medical Record tells 
passim that from the University of Chicago there has been issued 
a recipe for bringing about bodily bigness ; and that the age of the 
race of giants is about to begin again. Henceforward there will 
be no pigmies, because of a wonderful food-substance which 
makes men and animals grow fast, and large. This new food 
is lecithin. Dr. Hatai has experimented with it on white rats, 
and by feeding them with such nutriment made them grow sixty 
per cent faster than they grow ordinarily, the same being done 
even under atmospheric conditions and general surroundings 
which were unfavourable. Scientists say that lecithin will have 
a similar efEect on human beings. The Professor named above 
finds that the growth induced thereby is normal, and embraces 
all parts, including bigness of heart, and of body, as well as 
of head. Furthermore distinct traces of arsenic are found by 
the chemist to be present in eggs. 

A sagacious maxim teaches that "eggs (should be) of an 
hour, fish of ten, bread of a day, wine of a year, a woman 
of fifteen, and a friend of thirty." 

In an egg laid only a few hours before, the white is milky, 
which circumstance sometimes leads to such egg being erroneously 
considered stale. When an egg has been newly laid it is always 
damp, and observation shows that the longer it remains wet, or 
is kept thus, by so much does it remain fresh ; obviously, there- 
fore, eggs for preservation should be packed wet. The fats of 
egg yolk difEer chemically from ordinary fats, they also contain 
a large measure of phosphorus, which is easy of assimilation. 
But the absence of other carbohydrates (starch, sugar, etc.) 
prevents eggs from being in any sense a complete food. It 
would moreover require twenty of them daily to supply even 
the amount of proteid necessary for a healthy man. The egg 
shell is mainly carbonate of lime ; that of the ostrich's egg 
is so thick, and hard, that it may seriously wound a man if 
the egg becomes rotten and explodes by reason of its com- 
pressed gases produced by decomposition. 

" Dumptius in muro sedet teres, atque rotundus, 
Humptius, heu ! ceoidit ; magna ruina fuit. 
Non homines, non regis equi — miserabile dictu ! 
Te possunt sociis reddere, Dumpti, tuis." 



EGGS. 251 

In a boiled egg no air can come into contact with its nutriment 
until the same is broken lor eating, which is an antiseptic security. 
Eggs are specially rich in fat, and therefore they satisfy the 
stomach. The ovo-lecithin constituent is chemically the distearo- 
glycero-phosphate of choline, and embodies phosphorus in its 
most readily assimilable form, as found in nature ; it is admirably 
calculated to recruit exhausted nerve centres, and to renovate 
from nerve fag. Concentrated tablets thereof are now made 
reliably by the manufacturing chemist. The yolk fats differ 
chemically from ordinary fats, being in reality phosphatides ; 
they exist as palmitin, stearin, and olein, just as in butter. A 
subcutaneous administration of egg yolk has recently been 
practised for cases of defective nutrition in infants, and as a 
substitute for lecithin. The injection, prepared by mixing the 
yolk of an egg with one-third of its weight of a saline solution, 
is made into one of the buttocks, and gentle massage is employed 
afterwards. The general nutrition, and the quality of the blood, 
are stated to improve more rapidly under this treatment than 
under lecithin taken as food. 

For egg and sherry as a cordial of prompt use, with ready sup- 
port, beat up an egg in a cup with a fork till it froths, add a lump 
of white sugar first dissolved in two tablespoonfuls of water, mix 
well, then pour in a wineglassful of dry sherry, and serve before it 
becomes flat ; or half the quantity of pale brandy may be used in 
place of the sherry. 

The proper cooking degree of heat for boiling a fowl's egg is only 
one hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit, or fifty-two degrees 
below boiling point. If two eggs are taken, one of which is kept 
in water at a temperature of one hundred and seventy-five 
degrees for ten or fifteen minutes, and the other for an equal 
length of time in boiling water, it will be found at the end of the 
experiment that the contents of each egg are solid throughout, 
but that in the case of the former they consist of a tender jelly, 
whereas in the boiled egg they are dense, and almost leathery. 

For delicate persons of all ages, the following preparation, 
which wiU contain egg shells in solution, has been found most 
singularly useful. Take six fresh eggs, six lemons, half a pound 
of castor sugar, and half a pint of white rum. Put the eggs in 
their shells inside a jar, without injuring the shells, peel the 
lemons, and, after removing their pith, squeeze the fresh juice 
over the eggs, then lay above them the rind and the pulp. Cover 



252 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

the jar lightly, and put it in a cool place for seven days, not 
forgetting to shake it well on each day. At the end of that time 
strain through muslin, when it will be found that the lemon juice 
has dissolved the eggshells. Add the sugar, and the rum ; then 
bottle and cork it tightly. A wineglassful taken each morning 
before breakfast is the full dose, but at first it may be desirable 
to give only half this quantity. Again, for the cure of certain 
weaknesses in women, egg shells when properly prepared are 
highly lauded in America. The shells are first broken up in 
vacuo, and then finely powdered in a mortar together with two- 
thirds of finely powdered sugar of milk. Dr. Edson tells of 
seventy consecutive cases treated thereby without a single 
failure. 

An " egg foam " which can be quickly prepared, as in America, 
is particularly suitable for the passing needs of invalids : Separate 
one egg, keeping the yolk unbroken in half the shell, whilst beating 
all the white to a stifi froth. Heap this latter in a dainty little 
bowl, or egg cup, and make a small well in the centre, into which 
drop the yolk. Then stand the whole in a saucepan containing 
a little boiling water, cover the saucepan, and cook for one 
minute. Serve in the bowl, with a tiny bit of butter, and a few 
grains of salt. The Germans call frothed white of egg " snow." 
This froth is sweetened and scalded in milk, so as to become set. 
It then serves as the solid part of a refection whereat the liquid 
part is milk (perhaps with egg yolk). Such a dish, to be eaten 
with a spoon, is very refreshing at any time of the year, but 
particularly in summer, if it be well cooled. It is also a very 
excellent form of nourishment for persons who are sufiering from 
one or another throat afEection, or who have undergone some 
operation in the mouth or throat, and who cannot chew, or pulp 
with the tongue, but can yet drink the soft custard. A raw egg 
is not so easily assimilated after being swallowed as is one lightly 
boiled. The natural principles thereof are albumin, vitellin, 
lecithin, and nuclein. The egg albumin differs from that contained 
in the liquid serum of our blood as to certain physical properties, 
though closely allied to this. If the white of a newly laid egg 
be applied to a sore burn, or scald, it will keep out the air, and 
will do much to relieve the pain. Powdered egg shells will subdue 
acid indigestion from fermenting sour food in the stomach. On 
the assumption that ten milligrammes of iron are required daily 
by the average human body, then seven and a half eggs would 



EGGS. 253 

suffice for supplying this quantity, therefore egg yolk is to be 
regarded as a useful food for bloodless persons. 

Dr. Hutchison thinks that as a matter of fact a raw egg 
seems scarcely digested in the stomach at all, but to be passed 
out therefrom to a large extent unchanged, being perhaps such a 
bland nutriment as not to excite the secretion of gastric juice, 
nor to stimulate the churning movements of the stomach. The 
absorption of lightly cooked eggs within the intestines appears 
to be very complete, leavjng only a very small residue. When 
a person of delicate digestion is served with fried bacon and eggs, 
the latter should be poached separately, and then sent to table 
with the boiled, or fried bacon, or ham, on the same dish ; there 
is " reason in roasting eggs." A fried egg, by reason of the 
melted fat coating the egg, and hindering the contact of the 
gastric juice in the stomach, remains imperfectly digested, and 
burdensome. 

The omelette, formerly " aume lette d' aeufs," is a pancake made 
of eggs, so called from a supposed phrase " ceufs melius." It 
consists of eggs beaten lightly, with the addition of milk, salt, 
and sometimes a little flour, being browned in a buttered pan. 
Sometimes the omelette is prepared with cheese, ham, parsley, 
fish, jelly, or other additions. A suggestive French proverb runs 
thus : "On me faH les omelettes sans caisser des ceufs " — 
" Omelettes are not to be made without breaking eggs." 

A baked egg is good eating, and easy of achievement. Break 
a new-laid egg on to a thickly-buttered plate, strew it with pepper, 
and salt, and cook slightly in a moderate oven. It must be eaten 
exceedingly hot from the same plate, which may be attractively 
surrounded by a narrow frill of crinkled tissue paper. Eggs to 
be poached should be a couple of days old ; if just laid they are 
so milky inside that the cook, take all the care she can, will fail 
to secure therewith the praise of being a prime poacher. On the 
other hand the eggs must be sufficiently fresh, or success will be 
equally impossible. The egg-yolk contains certain organic 
substances in union with sugar, which are gelactosides. Egg 
lecithin, when extracted by the chemist, has been found to act 
curatively by its special phosphorus in cases where fresh raw 
eggs failed to produce any remedial efiects. When given medi- 
cinally this stimulates the appetite, and leads, as aforesaid, to an 
increase of weight, constituting an excellent element of food 
whenever phosphoric treatment is found to be desirable ; as in 



254 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

senile debility, general weakness, phosphatic urine, and similar 
conditions of exhausted energies, bodily, or mental. 

Also " Condensed Egg " is now made by a process of removing 
the contents from the shell, and evaporating all excess of moisture, 
then pure sugar is added as a preservative. " There is no 
mystery," says the Lancet, " about this preparation. It consists 
simply of fresh eggs and refined sugar." Such " Condensed 
Eggs " are put up in jars hermetically sealed, and being perfectly 
sterilized, they will keep good for any length of time. No coagu- 
1 ation is caused in the process. 

For " Egg-white water," in fever and diarrhoea, difEuse the 
whites of two eggs through a pint and a half of cold water, 
sweeten to taste, and add a little cognac, or other liqueur, if 
deemed advisable. For Egg-lemonade, shake together in a 
bottle the white of an egg, a tumblerful of cold water, the juice 
of half a lemon, and a teaspoonful of white sugar. 

The Wood-pigeon had called Alice {in Wonderland) a serpent, 
because of her long neck. When questioned further Alice 
said very truthfully, " I have tasted eggs, certainly, but then 
little girls eat eggs, quite as much as serpents do, you know." 
" I^don't believe it," said the Wood-pigeon, " but if they do, 
then they're a kind of serpent ! that's all I can say." 

Again, " I should like to buy an egg, please," said Alice 
{Through the Looking Glass) timidly to the old Sheep, in the little 
dark shop. " How do you sell them ? " " Fivepence farthing 
for one, twopence for two," the sheep rephed. " Then two are 
cheaper than one," said Alice in a surprised tone. " Only you 
must eat them both if you buy two," said the Sheep. 

Eggs, are, according to Dr. King Chambers, highly nutritious sus- 
tenance in fevers, and acute exhausting illnesses, when taken raw, 
and diluted with water (or milk ?), being thus rapidly absorbed ; 
but if delayed within the digestive canal so as to become putrid, 
the products of their decomposition are peculiarly injurious ; the 
sulphuretted hydrogen and the ammonia evolved are posionous 
to the intestines. A n egg should not be positively boiled, but, 
so to say, coddled, or put into boiling water, covered over, and 
allowed to stand (near the hob) for five minutes ; at the end of 
which time it will be well and evenly cooked all through. 

Again, for another " Egg Silky," whisk the yolk only, or the 
whole egg thoroughly, and grate a little nutmeg over it ; take a 
good teaspoonful of sugar, and stir well together; pour in 



EGGS. 255 

gradually about half a tumblerful of boiling water, and lastly 
add from one to two tablespoonfuls of whisky. This is excel- 
lent for a catarrhal chill. 

The eggs of those birds whose young are hatched without 
feathers, for example, plovers, exhibit when boiled a translucent 
albuminous white, which is not opaque like that of the fowl's 
egg under similar conditions. Moreover, the proportion of 
yellow yolk in the eggs of wild birds is considerably larger than 
in those of domesticated ones, adding thereby to the ratio of 
nutritive elements. But what are usually sold by poulterers as 
plover's eggs are those of the common lapwing ( Vandlus cristatus)- 
The Plover (Charadius) is thought to have derived its name 
from the Latin fluvia, rain, because of its fondness for being on 
the wing in rainy weather. Not that every Plover's egg that 
comes now into the market would have become a Plover in due 
course if allowed to be hatched out. " All that glitters is not 
gold," and every nice-looking, dark speckled egg that reposes in 
a mossy basket, and is sold for ninepence, or a shilling, in the 
West-end of London, has not owned a Plover for its mother. The 
dwellers round the Norfolk Broads could, and they would, tell 
something about these so-called Plover's eggs. " Furriers," said 
Dr. King Chambers, " are in the habit of passing off tabby cats' 
skins as Japanese lynx, and hundreds of the best ' Plover's 
eggs ' are laid by gulls on the East coast." Sir Lewis Watson, 
Baron of Rockingham, when at his newly purchased manor of 
Wilsford, Lincolnshire (164:1), received the following delightful 
letter from his wife — " ' To my loueing husband Sir Lewis 
Watson, at Wilsford,' "Sweetheart, I thanke you for your 
Plouar, the which are very great daynties to us indeede — for 
the sweet sauce which is your kindnes in sending them, and 
wiU procure us doctar diet, and doctar meoriman (merryman) 
at the eating of them. Writing to you so lately I have no 
more to say now, but that I will pray for your good helth, 
and remayne, your ever loueing wife, Eleanor Watson. Rock- 
ingham, November 23. I have given bearer only Is." 

It is an established fact that patients have been cured of 
obstinate obstructive jaundice by taking a raw egg on one or 
more mornings while fasting. Dr. Paris tells us that a specially 
ardent oil may be extracted from the yolks alone of hard- 
boiled eggs when roasted piecemeal in a frying pan until this 
oil begins to exude, and then pressed hard. Old eggs furnish 



256 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

the oil most abundantly, and it undoubtedly acts as a very 
useful medicament for indolent liver. The yolk consists in 
part of a variety of albumin, and therefore coagulates when 
heated, just as the white does, though in a less degree. But 
if the dry hard yolk is crushed, and digested in alcohol, it 
then becomes colourless in itself, whilst the spirit dissolves 
out a bright yellow oil, which forms about two-thirds of 
the weight of the yolk in its perfectly dry state. Thus the yolk, 
like flesh, and fish, is, shown to consist of fat intermixed with a 
substance which closely resembles the gluten of plants. 

What is termed a Bombay oyster is almost as delicious as 
the real bivalve, and is easily made : Into two teaspoonfuls of 
vinegar, with a pinch of pepper, and salt added thereto, break 
an egg, keeping its contents whole ; add a third teaspoonful 
of vinegar, and the oyster is complete. Egg shells (particularly 
when the eggs have been subjected to glasswater for preserva- 
tion), are found, if given in powder, helpful in cataract of the 
eyes, whether lenticular, or capsular ; this is partly because 
of the sulphur which is present ; likewise any sort of garlic is 
to be equally commended in such cases for the same reason. 
Though it may not be a sensible thing (Epicure, January, 1902), 
to teach one's grandmother how to suck eggs, yet it is quite 
possible to instruct that omniscient old lady how to successfully 
preserve them; the surest , method being to wet-pack them on 
the day they are laid, thus keeping them damp and fresh. 

Custard powders, so called, are sold as a substitute for eggs, 
but consist as to the majoiity chiefly of starch, to which a yellow 
colour is imparted by admixture with some vegetable dye, for 
instance, turmeric. Their nutritive value is not in any way 
equal to that of a genuine custard made with yolk of egg. In 
England it is customary to serve eggs in their shells, and it is 
considered bad form to extract the contents from the shells 
broken open at table ; but , in America this latter method is 
general, and certainly more convenient to an invalid. 

Sir Morell Mackenzie has recorded the striking circumstances 
which occurred in the family of a distinguished literary man, 
members of the said family throughout four generations being 
made seriously ill by eating an egg, or even a small portion of 
one, whether knowingly, or inadvertently; the fresher the egg, the 
worse the consequences ! At all times eggs laid by fowls fed on 
garbage, decaying meat, .and„ other such noxious food, are not 



EGGS. 257 

fit to be eaten. The hen's egg is a good illustration of the fact 
that albuminous, or proteid food, is earlier in use for life develop- 
ment than starch foods. The body of the chick is formed (by 
warmth alone) from the yellow yolk ; the white of the egg is 
almost pure albumin and water ; whilst around all is the impene- 
trable shell, part of which has to be dissolved from within to form 
the bones. Albumin coagulates at a temperature of fifty-two 
degrees less than that of boiling water, so that eggs and food 
dishes made therewith, should be cooked according to this rule ; 
otherwise the albuminous parts will harden on until leathery and 
indigestible. The albumin of egg yolk is vitelin, which coagulates 
firmly at a lower temperature than the white, being supposed 
also to contain some casein. 

Eggs fried in fat become inaccessible to the gastric juice 
within the stomach, and are therefore tardy of digestion ; to wit, 
in the omelette, and the pancake when made without flour, 
but lemon juice sprinkled over either of these is helpful. An 
omelette difiers from a pancake in not being thin, or browned, 
and in not being baked on both sides. It does not readily 
assimilate with sweet principles, except when fine fruit jellies are 
used instead of jams, or stewed fruit. Omelettes with coarse 
jams, simulating fine confitures, and savoury omelettes with all the 
whites of the eggs put into them, are inferior products of cuHn- 
ary skill. Former cookery books up to 1840 prefer the omission 
of half of the egg whites, because the preponderance of the yolks 
makes an omelette more tasty, more loose in its substance, and 
more tender. Indeed, Dr. Kitchener (Cook's Orade) deems this 
suppression of half the whites so important that without it no 
omelette can be kept from proving hard. Scrambled or stirred 
eggs are a kind of spoiled omelette. Mary Smith in her Complete 
Housekeeper (1772) gives an omelette as a " JHamlet," also Sauce 
Eobert, as " Roe-boat Sauce," and Queen's Soup as " Soupe a la 
Rain." Thackeray when he invited schoolboys to dinner always 
gave them beefsteak, and an apricot omelette ; generally as a 
prelude before taking them to see a pantomime. 

Fresh eggs, if coated by dipping in, or brushing over with 
water-glass (a dissolved silicate of soda in hot water, called also 
" mineral lime "), can be preserved almost indefinitely by the 
hard impenetrable protective glaze which is thus made to surround 
them. " This water-glass," says the Lancet, " is also a powerful 
antiseptic." Eggs treated thus will preserve their fresh milky 

17 



258 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

taste for six months, and remain undistinguishable from eggs 
taken straight out of the nest. Ordinary egg shells,, when 
powdered, are remedial against goitre, or enlarged throat gland, 
which entails a general deterioration of the whole bodily system, 
nutritive and structural, {myxcedema, as this is called). Mix 
together, three parts of powdered white sugar-candy, one part of 
finely powdered egg-shells (first dried in the oven), and two parts 
of burnt . sponge. Then let six or eight grains of the mixed 
powder (iept dry in a well-corked bottle) be taken in a dessert- 
spoonful of water, or milk, at bedtime for a week together, and 
every alternate week throughout three months. 

ELDERBERRY. 

From the well-known purplish-black berries of the Elder [Samhucus 
nigra) is made Elderberry wine, which when combined as to its 
composition with raisins, sugar, and spices, may well pass for 
Frontignac ; or, if well brewed, and three years old, for English 
Port. This wine has curative powers of established repute, 
particularly as a pleasant domestic remedy for promoting per- 
spiration on the access of a catarrh, with shivering, soreness of 
throat, aching limbs, and general depression : under which 
conditions a jorum of hot steaming cordial Elderberry wine taken 
at bedtime proves famously preventive of further ills. " A cup 
of mulled Elder Wine, served with nutmeg, and sippets of toast, 
just before going to bed on a cold wintry night, is a thing," as 
Cobbett said, " to be run for." 

Again, the inspissated juice, or " rob," extracted from crushed 
Elderberries, and simmered with white sugar, is cordial, laxative, 
and diuretic. One or two tablespoonfuls are to be taken with a 
tumblerful of very hot water. To make this, five pounds of the 
fresh berries should be used, with one pound of loaf sugar, and 
the juice should be evaporated to the thickness of honey. 
Chemically, the berries furnish viburnic acid, with an odorous 
oil, combined with malates of potash, and lime. Elder-flower 
tea is also excellent for inducing free perspiration. " The recent 
Rob of the Elder, if spread thick upon a slice of bread, and 
•eaten before other dishes, is our wives' domestick medicine, 
which they use likewise on their infants and children, whose 
bellies are stopt longer than, ordinary : for, this juice is most 
pleasant, and familiar to children : or, drink a draught of the 



ELDERBERRY. 259 



wine at your breakfast to loosen the belly " (1760). In Germany 
the Elder tree is regarded with great respect. " From its leaves a 
fever-drink is made ; from its berries a sour preserve, and a 
wonder-working electuary ; whilst the moon-shaped clusters of 
its aromatic flowers are narcotic, and are used in baking small 
cakes." Our English summer is not here until the Elder is fully 
in flower, and it ends when the berries are ripe. Douglas Jerrold, 
once at a well-known tavern, ordered a bottle of Port Wine, 
" which should be old, but not Elder." 

As a recipe for making Elderberry Wine : " Strip the berries 
(which must be quite ripe) into a dry jar, and pour two gallons 
of boiling water over three gallons of the berries, cover, and leave 
in a warm place for twenty -four hours ; then strain, pressing the 
juice well out. Measure it, and allow three pounds of sugar, half 
an ounce of ginger, and a quarter of an ounce of cloves to each 
gallon. Boil slowly for twenty minutes : then strain it into a 
cask, and ferment it whilst lukewarm. Let it remain until it 
has become still before bunging, and bottle it in six months. If 
a weaker wine is preferred, use four gallons of water to the above 
quantity of berries, and leave for two days before straining. 
Some stone jars will serve the purpose instead of a cask. Or, in 
another way, to every three gallons of water allow one peck of 
Elderberries ; to every gallon of juice allow three pounds of sugar, 
half an ounce of ground ginger, six cloves, one pound of good 
Turkey raisins ; and a quarter of a pint of brandy to every gallon 
of wine. Then for working the wine, add three or four table- 
spoonfuls of fresh yeast from the brewery to every nine gallons of 
the wine." Elderberry juice contains a considerable proportion 
of the principle necessary for a vigorous fermentation, but it is 
deficient in sweetness. 

German writers declare that the Elder contains within itself 
an entire magazine of physic, and a complete chest of homely 
medicaments. Likewise John Evelyn {Sylva, 1664), has written 
concerning the Elder : "If the medicinal properties of its leaves, 
bark, and berries were fully known, I cannot tell what our 
countrymen could ail for which he might not fetch a remedy 
from every hedge, either for sickness, or wounds." And again, 
" the buds boiled in water-gruel have effected wonders in a fever ; 
the spring buds are excellently wholesome in pottage ; and 
small ale in which Elder flowers have been infused is esteemed 
by many so salubrious that this is to be had in most of the 



260 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

eating-houses about town" (1680). The great Boerhaave (1720) 
always took off his hat through respect when passing an Elder 
bush. Nevertheless this exhales an unpleasant soporific smell 
which is said to impair the health of persons sleeping under 
its shade. " They do make tooth-pickers, and spoons of 
Elder-wood, to which they attribute much in preservation 
from the pain of toothache." Curiously enough an old English 
proverb ran to this effect : " Laurel for a garland, Elder for a 
disgrace." 

Sir Thomas Browne has told among his Vvlgar Errors (1646), 
" that Elderberries are poisonous (as we are taught by tradition) 
experience will unteach us." At the Christmas Party, Dingley 
Dell, graphically described in Pickwick : " Long after the ladies 
had retired to bed did the hot Elder wine, well qualified with 
brandy and spice, go round, and round, and round again : and 
sound was the sleep, and pleasant were the dreams that followed." 
Formerly the creamy Elder blossoms were beaten up in the batter 
of flannel cakes, and muffins, to which they gave a more delicate 
texture. They were also boiled in gruel as a fever-drink, and 
were added to the posset of the Christening feast. In Anatomic 
of the Elder (1655), it is stated : " the common people keep as a 
great secret in curing wounds the leaves of the Elder (which they 
have gathered the last day of April). Likewise make powder of 
the flowers of Elder gathered on a Midsummer day, being first 
well dryed, and use a spoonful thereof in a good draught of 
Borage water, morning and evening, first and last for the space 
of a month, and it will make you seem young a great while." 

From Elder flowers a gently stimulating ointment may be 
prepared with lard, for dressing burns and scalds ; also another 
such ointment concocted from green Elderberries with camphor 
and lard, has been formerly ordered by the London College of 
Surgeons for the relief of piles. Thus " the leaves of Elder boiled 
soft, with a little linseed oil added thereto, if then laid upon a 
piece of scarlet, or red cloth, and applied to the piles as hot as 
this can be sufiered, being removed when cold, and replaced by 
one such cloth after another upon the diseased part, by the space 
of an hour, and in the end some bound to the place, and the 
patient put then to bed ; this hath not yet failed at the first 
dressing to cure the disease, but if the patient be dressed twice 
therewith it must needs cure them if the first fail." " It were 
likewise profitable for the scabby if they made a sallet of those 



ELECAMPANE. 261 



young elder-flower buds, which at the beginning of the Spring 
doe bud forth ; as also for those outbreakings of the skin, or 
pustules, which by the singular favour of nature are contem- 
poraneous ; these buds being macerated a little in hot water may 
be sometimes eaten together with oyle, salt, and vinegar." 

The following is a " grandmothers' recipe for Elderberry 
Syrup." " Stew the berries gently with a little water until all the 
juice is extracted ; then press them through a hair sieve, or 
squeeze them in a coarse cloth, so as to obtain all the viscid 
juice. To each pint of this add one pound of preserving sugar, 
and three (bruised) cloves ; then boil it until of a syrupy con- 
sistence. Afterwards bottle, and cork well ; it will keep for 
years. When using the syrup take a tablespoonful in a tumbler- 
ful of water ; boiling water if for a cold, so as to afiord relief by 
prompt perspiration." " Elderberry wine made hot, and into 
which a little cinnamon is mixed, is one of the best preventives 
known against the advance of influenza, or the ill efiects of a 
chill." None the less we read in Cranford, " Not all the Elder 
wine that ever was mulled could wash out the remembrance of 
a domestic difierence between Miss Pole, the spinster, and her 
hostess, Mrs. Forrester, who had protested that ghosts were part 
of her religion." 

ELECAMPANE. 

From the times of the Middle Ages, a candied sweetmeat has been 
employed in Great Britain, as made from our Enghsh famihar 
plant. Elecampane (Helenium inula), growing tall, stout, and 
downy, of the Composite order, from three to five feet high, with 
broad leaves, and bright yellow flowers. " One of the plants," 
says William Coles (1656), " whereof England may boast as much 
as any, for there grows none better in the world than in England, 
let apothecaries and druggists say what they will." An old 
Latin distich thus celebrates its virtues : Enula Campana reddii 
proecordia sana : " Elecampane will the spirits sustain." Some 
fifty years ago its candy was sold commonly in London, made 
into flat round cakes, composed largely of the medicated sugar, 
and coloured with cochineal. A piece was eaten each night, and 
morning, for asthmatical complaints ; and it was customary 
when journeying by river to suck a bit of the same, or of the 
Elecampane root, against poisonous exhalations, and bad air. 



262 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

The candy may still be had from our leading confectioners, but 
scarcely containing, it is to be supposed, any more of the Elecam- 
pane than their barley sugar does now-a-days of barley. 
Chemically the roots, from which this candy is made, include a 
camphoraceous principle, helenin, and a starch known as " inulin," 
most sparingly soluble, together with a volatile oil, another resin, 
albumin, and acetic acid. The inulin is a powerful antiseptic 
to arrest putrefaction ; the helenin relieves chronic bronchitis, 
and soreness inside the nostrils. Moreover, this latter principle 
of Elecampane is said to be peculiarly destructive to the bacillus 
connected with consumptive disease of the lungs. In classic 
times the poet Horace told how Fundanius made a delicate 
sauce in whicji the bitter inula was boiled, and how the Roman 
stomach when surfeited by an excess of rich viands pined for 
plain turnips, and the appetising Enulas acidas from frugal 
Campania : — 

" Quum rapula plenus 
Atque aoidas mavult inulas." 

Prior to the Norman Conquest, and during the Middle Ages, 
the root of Elecampane was much employed medicinally in Great 
Britain. Though now found but infrequently as of local growth 
in our copses, and meadows, yet it is cultivated in private herb 
gardens as a culinary, and medicinal plant. 

ELECTRIC PHYSICAL EFFECTS. 

" Know," saith John Swan, (Speculum Mundi 1643), " that the 
horn of a Unicome hath many sovereigne virtues, and with an 
admirable dexteritie expelleth poyson, insomuch that being put 
upon a table furnished with many junkets, and banqueting dishes, 
it will quickly decrie whether there be any poyson amongst 
them." 

" In short (Night side of Nature, Catherine Crowe, as far back as 
in 1848), " we are the subjects, and so is every thing around us 
of aU manner of subtle, and inexplicable influences ; and if our 
ancestors attached too much importance to these ill understood 
arcana of the night side of nature, we have attached too little. 
The sympathetic effects of multitudes on each other, of the young 
sleeping with the old, of magnetism on plants, and animals, are 
now acknowledged facts. May not many other asserted pheno- 
mena that we yet laugh at, be facts also ? though probably too 



FA TS. 263 

capricious in their asserted nature, by which I mean depending 
on laws beyond our comprehension, to be very available ? For, 
I take it, as there is no such thing as chance, all would be 
certainty if we knew the whole of the conditions." 

To paraphrase a letter written by Sydney Smith, December, 
1821, from Foston, for Lady Mary Bennett : " Dear Lady, 
spend all your fortune in an electric lighting apparatus ! Better 
to eat dry bread by the splendour of electric light, than to dine 
on grouse by gas, or on wild beef with wax candles ; and so, 
good-bye ! dear lady.'' 

To wear silken clothing next the skin, will serve to retain 
a healthful electrical state of the body, thereby promoting 
cheerfulness of mind under atmospheric surroundings which 
would otherwise depress. 

ENDIYE (See Salads). 

FATS. 

Solid neutral fats, such as suet, lard, and spermaceti, also 
liquid non-volatile oils, such as olive oil, and sperm oil, are 
classed together as chemical fats. They are composed of carbon, 
oxygen, and hydrogen, but do not contain any nitrogen. When 
a fat is treated with an alkali, the fatty acid unites with the 
alkaline base, making a soap, and glycerine is set free. Fats are 
distinct from other food elements which increase the weight, and 
warmth of the body, such as the sugars, starches, and cellulose, 
these being carbohydrates, which are more afEected by heat than 
the fats ; but the latter when cooked, at a high temperature, 
which is kept up, undergo some disintegration, and a free fatty 
acid is liberated ; this is apt to disagree with delicate stomachs. 
Meat to be fried should be plunged suddenly into a deep pan of 
nearly boiling fat, pure olive oil, or dripping, or butter. The 
intense heat produces an instant coagulation of the proteids 
(resembling white of egg) on the surface, and forms a protective 
crust. It is supposed that the greater digestibility of cold fats 
over hot fats is because the fatty acid then unites again with 
glycerine to form a neutral fat free from acid on cooUng. Carbon 
enters the body for fuel in fat, starch, and sugar, and quits it as 
carbonic dioxide. Lean persons who wish to gain fat should 
eat but little lean meat, whilst taking freely of butter, potatoes, 
white bread, and plain pastry, if easily digested ; they should live 
in warm well-ventilated rooms, and refrain from much active 



264 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

out-door exercise. Furthermore there is much truth in the 
maxim, " to eat little and often will make a man fat." 

For contributing fat to lean persons the Banana cure is now 
popular in America. This consists of eating scarcely anything 
besides baked Bananas, which not only add weight, but at the 
same time recruit the nervous energies of body and mind. But 
tthose who advocate cooked Bananas are emphatic in condemning 
them raw as dangerous and unwholesome. Banana flour is 
iound valuable in cases of stomach inflammation, and in typhoid 
lever, as it can be retained, if suitably prepared, when other 
forms of the appropriate foods are rejected. Sir Henry Stanley, 
the famous explorer, wrote concerning this Banana flour, " if 
only its virtues were publicly known, I cannot doubt that it 
would be largely consumed in Europe. For infants, persons of 
feeble digestion, and dyspeptics, the flour, properly prepared, 
would be in universal demand. During my two attacks of 
gastritis, a light gruel of such flour mixed with mUk, was the 
only matter that could be digested."— It contains twenty per 
cent of proteids, and sixty- eight per cent of carbohydrates. 
The Banana is always pure, and never tainted by grubs : its 
outer skin protects the fruit entirely from contamination. 
Experts say that the Banana, hke the Medlar, can scarcely be in 
too ripe a stage for eating. The British Medical Journal (1904), 
teaches that Bananas should not come to table before their skin 
has turned black in places, whilst their pulp is at the same 
time slightly discoloured. 

Fish-oils, notably that from the cod's hver, are more easily 
digested than ordinary fats, but are not so highly organized. 
The next most readily borne, and assimilated is bacon fat, 
either hot, as rashers, or of cold boiled bacon, which serves 
a much better purpose for building up the bodily tissues. 
Then comes cream, a natural emulsion ; likewise butter. For 
children another capital combination of fat may be supplied 
by tofiee, this being made of sugar, butter, and sometimes a 
portion of treacle. Butter in such a shape is especially agreeable 
to the young stomach; and most of the tofEee-sugar occurs 
as " invert," which is particularly easy of digestion. 

For lean, or wasted patients one of the simplest means of 
enriching the diet is by adding to it a certain quantity of rich 
new milk, two, or three pints a day, besides the ordinary nourish- 
ments ; also " croutes an coulis," or gravy fingers, afiord fat in 



FA TS. 265 

a useful and palatable form. " Take several slices of stale bread, 
cboosing them not too mucb dried up, chop ofi the crusts, cut the 
crumb into neat finger lengths, dip them rapidly in, and out of a' 
basin of cold milk, drain them, brush them over with white of 
egg, and dredge them thickly with flour. Melt three table- 
spoonfuls of clarified beef-dripping in a small saucepan, and bring 
it to the boil, lower the fingers separately into this, and cook 
them until crisp, and brown. Build them up as a small pyramid 
in the centre of a heated dish, and pour over it a teaspoonful or 
two of strong beef gravy, or of a flavoured brown sauce." 

All children need a liberal allowance of heat-producing food, 
but most of them have a dislike of fat ; therefore they naturally 
crave for sugar as a substitute. Thus their desire for sweets is 
the cry of nature for what she wants ; and this voice of nature 
shoidd be obeyed ; nevertheless fatty foods are good for prurigo, 
and other skin troubles of children. 

Dr. E. Hutchison, in a recent lecture before the National 
Health Society of London, " had a good word to say for Margerine 
as physiologically equal to Butter ; than which latter substance 
there is no food stufi of higher value ! " His emphatic opinion 
is that there is too much starch, and too little fat in the national 
diet system, and that therefore a stunted race of the working 
classes is growing up. Dripping used to be given liberally to the 
children of the poor ; bread and dripping was the staple article of 
their food ; but this has now given place to cheap jams, which do 
not possess the same nutritive value as the said fatty substance, 
(whereto the homely bloater likewise may be profitably compared), 
these things being supplemented with lentils, oatmeal, haricot 
beans, and a certain amount of animal food ; for it cannot be 
doubted that together with the carbohydrates, such as starches, 
sweets, cream, etc., an adequate allowance of nitrogenous nutri- 
ment in the form of fresh meat, eggs, casein of cheese, gluten 
of cereals, and vegetable nitrogens, helps materially to lay on 
fat ; indeed, is essential for the purpose. At the same time a 
considerable amount of bodily exercise, chiefly out of doors, must 
indispensably accompany this dietary, unless it is prohibited by 
a previous wasting of the muscles during some acute disease, 
with as yet insufficient convalescence. 

Dr. Hutchison further says, there is no sort of carbohydrate 
food more fattening than sugar, because, unlike any other such 
food, this contains no water, the nourishing value whereof is nil. 



266 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Such preparations therefore as the malt extracts can never add 
to the diet as much fattening and warming support as an 
equivalent in weight of ordinary cane sugar. Spermaceti, as 
obtained from the whale, used to be largely given for the purpose 
of making a thin person fat, but it has now dropped out of use. 
It was administered in the form of a powder, mixed with sugar, 
and three-quarters of an ounce could be thus taken daily, being 
well borne, and not difficult to absorb. Cream contains about 
20 per cent of fat, and three tablespoonfuls of it are more than 
equal in food value to one tablespoonful of cod-liver oil emulsion. 
Butter has 80 per cent of fat, and can be taken in considerable 
quantity if mixed with starchy food, such as mashed potato. 

As Dr. Hutchison says, " There can be no doubt that mutton- 
fat, especially when hot, proves irritating to the stomachs of 
some persons ; and in them the eating of mutton pies, or Irish 
stews, is likely to be followed by bothering indigestion, or even 
acute catarrh of the stomach." 

Sleep of itself seems to lessen the waste of bodily fat. A 
German writer goes so far as to assert that an extra hour's sleep 
at night is equivalent to the saving of two and a half pounds 
of fat in the year. A good homely form of fatty food at 
breakfast is fried bread. Take slices of brown bread, fry them a 
nice brown with some dripping (either of mutton, beef, or roast 
chicken), serve warm with pepper. " You'll find," said the elder 
Mr. Weller to his son Sam, " that as you gets vider you'll get 
viser. Vidth and visdom, Sammy, always goes together." 

Practically, when it is wished to increase the bodily weight and 
nutrition by laying on fat only, then the food increment must be 
made as regards giving fats, and carbohydrates (starches, and 
sweet things) ; but where one desires rather to enrich the body 
as to its muscular tissue, and complement of blood, thereby 
adding weight as well as vital force, or, in other words, to confer 
more proteids, then the proportion thereof in the daily food 
must be augmented ; whilst what are termed proteid-sparers, 
or economisers, are also given, such as gelatin, and the like. This 
is the plan to be pursued in strengthless, nervous disorders. 
Lean fresh meat is to be regarded as the type of a natural proteid 
food. It contains about one-fifth of its weight of that con- 
stituent, the rest being made up chiefl.y of water ; the proteids 
are not only rapidly consumed, but they cause a sympathetic 
increase in the consumption of sugars and fats ; therefore an 



FATS. 267 

animal diet makes for leanness. Where, on the other hand, it 
is desired to reduce the amount of bodily fat, as in obese persons 
who are encumbered thereby, it will be proper to reduce the 
number of fat- and heat-producers in the daily food ; also to 
increase the output of energy as supplied in the food, by taking 
more exercise, or doing more daily active work, or by a com- 
bination of these methods. The richer meats should be used 
very sparingly, such as pork, and goose ; likewise the fatty fish, 
as salmon, mackerel, eels, herrings, sardines in oil, and sprats ; 
the coarser sorts of bread will be best, such as contain much 
unassimilable bran. Potatoes are not so fattening as white bread, 
and may be allowed in moderation. Fresh fruits will be very 
useful, but not so the dried sweet fruits. Thick soups, sauces, and 
pastry are fat-producing, likewise starchy farinaceous foods. 
Lean meat may be taken liberally. Rest and sleep seem to 
lessen the waste of fat. But sleep is useful as an aid to diges- 
tion only in the case of invalids, and aged persons, and even 
then it may be injurious, because of the depressed circulation 
meanwhile. 

At first, for those newly convalescent from a wasting disease, 
pounded meat should be added to soups in the form of purees ; 
then passing on to the more easily digested forms <of animal food, 
such as chicken, fish^ and eggs. Jellies properly made from lean 
superior meat are to be commended, likewise custard, and light 
milk puddings, which are proteid-sparers. The enrichment of 
the diet in fat for such patients may be wisely deferred until 
later, being then accomplished, if desirable, by the free use of 
cream, butter, bacon, and suet. 

Warner, in his Literary Recollections, tells of an eccentric lady, 
Mrs. Jefierys, the sister of Wilkes, who lived at Bath, and who 
dined every day at a boarding-house, with a bottle of Madeira 
at her side, eating largely of some big joint particularly abundant 
in fat. She was served with frequent slices of this fat meat, 
which she swallowed alternately with pieces of chalk, neutralizing, 
as she supposed, the acids of the fat with the alkaline basis of the 
chalk. Furthermore she amalgamated, diluted, and assimilated 
the delicious compound with half a dozen glasses of her 
Madeira. 

Charles Lamb, in Grace before Meat, inveighs against overfed, 
obese greedy eaters. " Gluttony and surfeiting," says he, " are 
no proper occasions for thanksgiving. We read that when 



268' MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Jesliurun waxed fat lie kicked." " Whenever I see a fat citizen 
at a feast in his bib and tucker I cannot imagine this to be a 
surplice." The shrewd worldly old Lord Chesterfield, in one of 
the noted letters to his son, then at Paris, 1752, for the recovery 
of his health, gave the advice, " I pray you leave off entirely your 
heavy greasy pastry, fat creams, and indigestible dumplings ; 
and then you need not confine yourself to white meats, which 
I do not take to be one jot wholesomer than beef, mutton, and 
partridge." 

M. Brillat Savarin directs (1889), " that lean persons for whom 
it is sought to correct this disposition should eat plenty of newly- 
baked bread, taking care to masticate it thoroughly, and not 
to leave any of the crumb ; also to partake of eggs for luncheon 
at about 11.0 a.m. Then at dinner, potage, meat, and fish, may 
be had as desired, but to these musb be added rice, macaroni, 
sweet pastries, sweet cream, charlottes, etc. At dessert, savoy 
biscuits, babas, and other preparations which contain starch, 
with eggs and sugar. Beer is to be the beverage by preference, 
or Burgundy, or Claret. Acids are to be avoided, except with 
the salad, which rejoices the heart. Eat plenty of grapes in the 
season. Go to bed at about eleven p.m. on ordinary days, and 
not later than one o'clock in the morning on holiday occasions." 
Such is the French method for getting fat ! 

Sydney Smith, who had been trying anti-fat dieting, and lessen- 
ing his sleep, wrote in 1819 from Saville Eow, London, to Lady 
Mary Bennett, " I shall be so thin when you see me that you may 
trundle me about like a mop." It should be remembered that 
the dietetic requirements of old age are just the reverse of those 
of childhood. The assimilative power of the bodily cells is now 
on the wane, and the physical activities are restricted, so that 
less food is required. " Leanness and longevity," it has been 
remarked, " go together, and a man will only roll all the faster 
down the hill of life if his figure be rotund." " Djscerne," 
taught Bacon, " of the coming on of yeares, and thinke not to 
doe the same things still, for age will not be defied." 

Charles Dickens, when humorously describing a foot-race 
between the Boston Bantam, and the Man of Eoss (very fat), 
said of this Eoscius, " according to the epigram of some anony- 
mous cove " : — 

" And when ho walks the streets the paviours cry 
' God bless you, sir,' and lay their rammers by." 



FA TS. 269 

Per contra, Tennyson in his Vision of Sin admonishes us 
solemnly that : — 

" Every face, however full, 
Padded round with flesh and fat. 
Is but modelled on a skull ! " 

Edward Fitzgerald, in a letter to his friend Bernard Barton, 
August, 1844, wrote " I spent four pleasant days with Donne, 
who looks pale and thin. We are neither of us in what may be 
called the first dawn of boyhood, but Donne maintains his shape 
better than I do, for, sorrow, I doubt not, has done this with 
me ; and so we see why the house of mourning is better than the 
stalled ox. For, it is a grievous thing to grow poddy : the age 
of chivalry is gone then." 

Few children's rhymes are more common than that which 
relates to Jack Sprat and his wife ; but it is little known that this 
has been current for two centuries and more. When Howell 
published his Collection of Proverbs in 1659 it contained the 
rhyme : — 

" Archdeacon Pratt would eat no fat, 
His wife would eat no lean : 
'Twixt the archdeacon and his wife 
The meat was ate up clean." 

In certain animals, as the ox, sheep, goat, and hart, the fatty 
tissue about the loins and kidneys is known as suet ; it is harder 
fat and less fusible than that from other parts of these animals. 
Fat of the ox, or sheep, when melted out of its connective tissue 
forms tallow ; the corresponding flaky fat of hogs furnishes leaf- 
lard. Mutton suet may be purified from its peculiar odour by 
being heated to 150° Fahrenheit, at which temperature the 
hircin is decomposed, and the hircio acid passes away. During 
the siege of Paris some candles made of mutton fat were thus 
puiified, and the fat was then used for food. The South Germans 
term the brisket-fat, or breast-fat of sheep and oxen, because of 
its excellent nut-like flavour, " breast-kernel." The hump of 
the Camel is analogous to it both in structure and in taste. 

If the diet of a patient is restricted to milk, and if this is well- 
borne, it may be made more nourishing as " superfatted milk " 
by immersing in the milk some suet finely chopped, and enclosed 
in a mushn bag ; then simmering the whole for a while with 
moderate heat. To begin with, a good-sized teaspoonful of the 
Buet should be used for a pint of milk, advancing presently to 



270 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

larger quantities of the suet if tte stomach does not rebel. 
Chopped suet is neither heavy, nor indigestible, if the pudding, 
or dumpling, or other dish in which it is used be boiled, or steamed, 
a sufficiently long time, so as to render it light, and easy of 
digestion. For a plain suet pudding : take one pound of flour, 
half a pound of chopped suet, and a pinch of salt. Mix all 
together, with about a quarter of a pint of cold water ; then flour 
a cloth, and put the pudding into it, tie up, and drop it into a 
saucepanful of boiUng water, and boil for two or three hours. 
The late Lord Leighton, President of the Royal Academy, 
who loved everything about him to be beautiful in form, colour, 
and texture, and who would have wished, it might be naturally 
supposed, to live almost on ambrosia and nectar, when he was 
asked what he would specially like for his birthday dinner, could 
think (as Miss Cockran tells) of no greater delicacy than roast 
inutton with suet pudding. Tennyson, again, loved beer, and 
chops. So it does not appear that these gifted men, whose pen 
and pencil seem to have been inspired, manifested any special 
nicety of palate, or natural craving for choice culinary dishes. 

FENNEL. 

The herb Fennel {Fceniculum) of our kitchen gardens is best 
known to cooks as supplying a tasty, fragrant, spicy material 
for sauce to be eaten with boiled mackerel. But furthermore : — 

" Above the lowly plants it towers. 
The fennel, with its yellow flowers, 
And in an earlier age than ours 
Was gifted with the wondrous powers 
Lost vision to restore." 

A carminative oil is distilled from the Fennel, which is employed 
in the making of cordials. Shakespeare, in his play of Henry 
the Fourth, tells of "' eating conger and Fennel " (two highly 
stimulating things together) as the act of a Ubertine. The 
Garden Fennel is admirably corrective of flatulence. If from 
two to four drops of its essential oil are taken on a small lump 
of sugar, or, similarly, if a tea be made of the bruised green herb, 
and drunk, a small teacupful at a time, any griping of the bowels, 
with flatulent distension, will be promptly relieved ; as likewise 
tlie bellyache of infants by reduced quantities of the same tea. 
Chemically Fennel yields also a fixed fatty principle, some sugar. 



FENNEL. 271 



and some starch, witli a bitter resinous extract. Gerarde has 
taught that " the green leaves of the Fennel eaten doe fill 
women's brestes with milk." The camphoraceous vapour of 
its essential oil will cause the tears, and the saliva to flow. A 
syrup prepared from the expressed juice of the herb, was formerly 
given for chronic coughs. The plant was eaten in olden times 
as a savoury herb. Its leaves are served nowadays with salmon 
to correct the oily indigestibility thereof. Roman bakers put the 
herb under their loaves in the oven for giving the bread an agree- 
able flavour. A physician to the first Emperor of Germany saw a 
monk cured by his tutor in nine days of a cataract, simply by 
applying frequently to the eyes a strong decoction of the whole 
Fennel plant (bruised whilst fresh), in boiling water, and then 
allowed to become cool. It was formerly the practice to boil 
Fennel with all fish ; and French epicures keep their fresh fish 
in Fennel-leaves so as to make the flesh firm. The whole herb 
is thought to confer longevity, strength, and courage ; though 
an old proverb has said, ominously enough, " To sow Fennel 
is to sow sorrow." Keats, 1817, who was first a student of 
medicine, and then a poet, has sung : " Fill your baskets 
high, with Fennel green, and balm, and golden pines.'' John 
Evelyn has taught that the peeled stalks, soft, and white, 
of the cultivated Garden Fennel, when dressed " like salery," 
exercise a pleasant action conducive to sleep. The Italians 
eat these blanched stalks, which they call " Cartucci," as a salad. 
Fennel seeds, when macerated in spirit of wine (together with 
the seeds of Juniper, and Caraway), make a cordial which is noted 
for promoting a copious flow of urine in dropsy. If the herb 
is dried, and powdered, a valuable eye-wash can be prepared 
therefrom, half a teaspoonful being infused in a wineglassful of 
cold water, and presently strained ofi clear. A similar application 
will speedily relieve earache, and toothache, being then first 
made hot, if desired. 

Wm. Coles, in his Nature's Paradise (1650), taught that " both 
the seeds, leaves, and roots of our Garden Fennel are much used 
in drinks, and broths, for those that are grown fat, to abate their 
unwieldinesse, and cause them to grow more gaunt, and lank." 
The ancient Greek name, Marathron, of the herb, as derived 
from the verb maraino, to grow thin, seems to have conveyed 
a similar meaning. Hot Fennel tea, made by pouring boiling 
water on the bruised seeds, and flowers, is an efiicient promoter 



272 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of female functions (half a pint of water on a teaspoonful of the 
bruised seeds.) Also against fleas, some of the seeds if carried 
in a small muslin bag about the person will be effective. 

FIG (Ficus). 

Only one kind of Fig comes to ripeness with us in England, so 
as to be supplied as fresh fruit : the great blue Fig, as large as a 
Catherine Pear. " It should be grown," said Gerarde, " under 
a hot wall, and eaten when newly gathered, with bread, pepper, 
and salt ; or it is excellent in tarts." This fruit is soft, easily- 
digested, and corrective of strumous disease. Among the Greeks 
it formed part of the ordinary Spartan fare ; and the Athenians 
forbade exportation of the best Figs. Informers who betrayed 
offenders against this restriction were called " Suho-fhantai," 
or fig-discoverers, (now sycophants). Bacchus was thought to 
have derived his vigour, and his corpulency, from eating Figs 
in abundance, such as the Romans gave to professional wrestlers, 
and champions, for conferring bodily strength. The dried Figs 
of the shops afford no idea of the fresh fruit as enjoyed in Italy 
at breakfast, and which supplies a considerable quantity of 
grape sugar. In its green state this fruit secretes a milky, acrid 
juice, which will serve to destroy warts if applied to them 
externally ; such juice becomes afterwards saccharine, and oily. 
In England the Fig tree flourishes best on our sea-coasts, because 
of the salt-laden atmosphere. Near Gosport, and at Worthing, 
there are orchards of Fig trees. The famous Fig gardens at 
West Tarring, Worthing, are said to have originated with 
Thomas a Becket, and one particular tree is still pointed out as 
having been planted by his own hand. In the local Church- 
yard there is an epitaph on " the bodie of John Parson, buried 
March, 1736 " :— 

" You the was hys age, 
Virginitie hys state, 
Learning hys love. 
Consumption hys fate." 

On the Saturday preceding Palm Sunday, the market at North- 
ampton is abundantly supplied with Figs, and more of the fruit 
is purchased at this time than throughout the rest of the year. 
Even charity children are regaled with Figs on the said Sunday 



FIG. 273 

in some parts of the country ; whilst in Lancashire Fig pies 
made of dried Figs, with sugar, and treacle, are eaten in Lent. 

Foreign Figs come to us as dried in the oven (the larvae within 
them of the cynips insect being thus destroyed), and compressed 
in small boxes. They consist in this state mainly of mucilage, 
sugar, and small seeds. As imported from Turkey they contain 
glucose (a sugar), starch, fat, pectose, gum, albumin, mineral 
matter, cellulose, and water. They exercise a gentle laxative 
effect when eaten ; also, if split open and applied hot against 
gum-boils, or other similar suppurative gatherings, they will 
afford ease, and promote maturation of the abscess. The first 
Fig-poultice on record was that employed by King Hezekiah 
260 years before Christ, as ordered by the Prophet Isaiah, to 
" take a lump of Figs, and lay it on the boil ; and the King 
recovered." Likewise for glandular enlargements this fruit 
was of old renowned as a resolvent remedy : — 

" Swine's evil, swellings, kernels. 
Figs by a plaster cure." — (1665). 

When eaten raw, the dried Figs are apt to produce a passing 
soreness inside the mouth. Grocers prepare from the pulp of 
these foreign dried Figs (mixed, it may be, with honey) a jam 
known as " Fignine," which is wholesome, and will prevent 
costiveness if eaten at breakfast with brown bread. Again, the 
pulp of Turkey Figs is mucilaginous, and acts as a useful pectoral 
emolhent for hard, dry coughs ; it may therefore be well added 
to ptisans for such catarrhal troubles of the air passages. Figs 
cooked in milk make a good useful drink for costive invalids. 
Barley water boiled up with dried Figs (first split open), liquorice 
root, and stoned raisins, forms the " Compound decoction of 
Barley " prescribed by doctors as an admirable demulcent. In 
Cornwall raisins are called Figs, and " a thoompin' Figgy 
puddin' " is popular at Christmas. " Weight for weight," says 
Dr. Hutchison, " dried Figs are more nourishing than bread, 
and a pint of milk with six ounces of dried Figs will make a 
good meal." " Oh, excellent ! I love long life better than 
Figs " (Antony and Cleopatra). Fifty years ago at the Hall 
table of Brasenose College, Oxford, was served " Herodotus 
pudding," a rich confection of Figs, and their accompaniments ; 
and probably the same is still prepared there at the hands of a 
classical cook. For Herodotus pudding, " take half a pound 

18 



274 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of bread-crumbs, half a pound of good Figs, six ounces of suet, 
six ounces of moist sugar, half a saltspoonful of salt, three eggs, 
and nutmeg to taste ; mince the suet, and Figs, very finely ; 
add the remaining ingredients, taking care that the eggs are well 
whisked ; beat the mixture for a few minutes, put it into a 
buttered mould, tie it down with a floured cloth, and boil the 
pudding for five hours ; serve with wine-sauce." To stew 
Turkey Figs, remove any stalks, or hard pieces from the fruit, 
prick the skins, and soak them overnight in enough water to 
cover them ; then put them, and the water, into a small stewpan, 
and simmer very slowly for about twenty minutes. French 
plums, or prunes, may be stewed in the same way, adding a little 
sugar if liked. The juices of Figs and Prunes have peptonizing 
powers which will materially aid the digestion of milk, and cheese. 
Certain small birds known as " becca ficas," or Fig-eaters, 
are to be found plentifully on the Continent, and at times in 
this country during the summer and autumn, being said by 
Brillat Savarin " to fill and beautify (when cooked) all the 
digestive powers." " This bird cannot be eaten, it can only be 
chewed ; and the consomme of choice flavours stored in its 
roasted carcase has to be sucked out." Such is the advice of 
the Canon Charcot, as quoted by a renowned physician. For 
making a Fig pudding, " put three ounces of bread-crumbs in a 
basin ; add Figs cut in small pieces, with a little sugar, or ' log 
maple sugar,' and a little grated lemon rind ; mix with milk 
(and perhaps a little water) ; pour into a buttered basin, and 
steam for three hours." Fig tart is likewise a good old-fashioned 
dish, and useful as a gentle laxative : " Stew some good Figs in 
a little syrup sharpened with lemon- juice, and use them when 
cold, covering with a plain paste, as for an apple, or other fruit 
tart ; or let the syrup boil until thick after the Figs are tender, 
and are removed from it ; cut them in little pieces, and use them 
with some of the syrup for pies in patty pans, so that when baked 
they resemble mince-pies ; they will suit the elders better than 
richer compounds containing suet. A small amount of grated 
apple may be added, with a little spice, and some lemon, or 
orange rind (candied), also perhaps chopped apple (about 
one-fourth the weight of the Figs)." An excellent gargle for 
sore throat may be concocted by boiling two ounces of split 
Turkey Figs for thirty minutes in half a pint of water, straining 
this when cool. 



FISH FOODS. 275 



Towards assisting the laxative action ol stewed Figs, 
or Prunes, against constipation, it is important to manage a 
proper position of the body as regards the bowels during sleep 
at night. Anatomical arrangements are to be borne in mind 
for this end, as to lying on the proper side at the proper time. 
Thus, for a while after the meal to lie on the right side is correct, 
so that the food undergoing digestion may pass presently out 
of the stomach into the first bowels, and gradually onwards, 
until after some hours it reaches the ascending colon, which 
passes up the right side of the abdomen. At this stage to turn 
over on to the left side will be of service, so that the faecal mass 
may slide along the transverse colon across the top of the 
abdomen into the descending colon, which runs down the left 
side, and so on into the rectum, or lowest bowel, for evacuation 
in the morning without any straining, or hindrance. When a 
relaxed condition of bowels prevails, then just the opposite 
tactics should be pursued. If Figs, instead of being stewed, 
as anti-costive, are steeped overnight in cold, soft water, enough 
to cover them, and perhaps adding a few drops of fresh lemon- 
juice, they will be found nicer, and more efficacious for the 
purpose. 

The fresh Fig does not fructify in this country, because no 
special wasps essential for such a function are available here. 
Caprification, or the fertilizing process, is artificially practised 
in South Italy for ensuring a good crop of Figs. A wild Fig, 
or Caprifig, which is inedible, is suspended upon the tree of the 
edible variety. This Caprifig contains a particular kind of 
wasp, which eats its way out in search of other Oaprifigs wherein 
it may lay its eggs ; but not finding any such wild Figs, it enters 
the flower of an edible Fig, taking in with itself some fertilizing 
pollen. A supply of these wasps is therefore essential to the 
Fig grower. " Do men gather grapes of thorns, or Figs of 
thistles ? " is an instructive question propounded in Scripture, 
which would bear application to the wild Caprifig. 

FISH FOODS. 

As to the animal characteristics and endowments of Fish, both 
generally, and particularly, a reference may be made to former 
writings, whilst we have now to consider specially the therapeutic 
principles and capabilities of Fish foods regarded as medicinal. 



276 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Speaking broadly, the substance oi Fish served at table is thought 
to be lighter of digestion, but less nourishing, than the flesh 
which we eat as beef, mutton, lamb, veal, and pork. It is 
credited with the faculty of imparting phosphorus to the brain, 
and to the nervous organization ; it is further believed to be a 
sexual stimulant, and restorative, but its exclusive protracted 
use is thought to engender outbreaks of skin disease. Some 
persons also find Fish, as a food instead of meat, to be a nervine 
calmative, and to exercise soporific effects. Moreover, the oily 
fish, such as salmon, mackerel, cod's-Hver, herrings, and sprats, 
when adequately digested, promote fatty development, and 
bodily warmth. Fish roe is reputed to be a rich source of 
organic phosphorus ; and bone materials, such as phosphates 
of lime, potash, and soda, are contributed by various fish. 

Count Eomford concluded that of all foods a red herring has 
the highest specific sapidity; that is, the greatest amount of 
flavour in a given weight of insipid food with which it is inter- 
mixed. Again, a Connecticut Professor in the State Agricultural 
College found when investigating the comparative values as 
food, of meat, and other matters of daily sustenance, that the 
climax of nutrition is reached in the eminently popular Red 
Herring. Alphonse Karr tells amusingly in his Tour round my 
Garden of a midnight mass at Lille, where some old women were 
praying, and preparing a supper called a " reveillon " ; " from 
time to time they drew from under their petticoats a small 
chafing dish, upon which were cooking two or three herrings ; 
they turned the herrings, put the chafing dish back in its place, 
and resumed their prayers." The bloater is so called because 
partially smoke-dried (bloat, an obsolete term to smoke) after 
some salting, and is not split open. The fat under the skin of 
a herring is never of good taste, and is best extracted by broiling. 
Kippered, or smoked, herrings are frequently dipped instead 
into pyroligneous acid, which gives them the smoky flavour. 
" But they furnish," says Dr. Haig, " more than 6 per cent of 
gouty uric acid." About the year 1600 Eobert Greene, the Play- 
wright, fell a victim to a surfeit of pickled herrings, and Rhenish 
wine, at some merry gathering of his associates. A " Yarmouth 
Capon" (or fowl), is a bloater, and says old Fuller, " Few Capons 
save what have more fins than feathers are bred in Yarmouth." 
Irish herrings are frequently smoked with juniper wood. Father 
Prout was loud in their praise :^ 



FISH FOODS. 277 



" Sure ! of Dublin bay herrings a keg. 

And an egg, 
Is enough for all sensible folk ! 
Success to the fragrant turf-smoke 
That curls round the pan on the fire ; 
While the sweet yellow yolk 
From the egg-sheU is broke 

In the pan, 

Who can 
If he have but the heart of a man, 
Not feel the soft flame of desire 
Which inflames e'en the soul of a friar ? " 

Sydney Smith, writing to Lord Murray, -from London, in 
November, 1843, said : " I shall be obliged to you for the 
herrings, and tell me at the same time how to dress them ; but 
perhaps I mistake, and they ought to be eaten naked." Mr. 
Benjamin Bell, a famous surgeon of the last century, supposed 
the eating of fish to be on the whole a mischievous practice ; 
and Dr. Cheyne, a well-known physician of 1730, entertained 
similar views. The products of decomposition in fish are rapidly 
formed, and then act as poisons to the human system ; occasion- 
ally also living fish elaborate similar toxic substances. The 
widespread impression that much fish-eating entails a liability 
to skin diseases, and particularly of stale fish to leprosy, is 
founded on trustworthy scientific data, and has been confirmed 
by eminent authorities. One practical outcome of this belief 
is shown by the abolition of fish from the dietary of the patients 
in the St. Louis Hospital for Skin Diseases at Paris. " Perhaps, 
indeed, Gehazi, the grasping and dishonest servant of the 
Israelitish prophet in the Old Testament, fell a victim in his 
pursuit of the newly-cured Syrian to his greed of appetite, as 
well as to his avarice. If he fed while overtaking the chariot 
of Naaman, on such an unattractive, but eminently portable 
diet as dried fish, septic in its nature, his punishment was doubly 
justified. Certain is the fact that while in England the stale 
Cod, or carelessly pickled Halibut, are no longer consumed as 
food by the masses, leprosy has vanished from the land ; yet 
in those countries where this enlightened pohcy is not pursued 
the fell disease is still rife. It is true, nevertheless, that the 
man who eats bad dried fish, though not of necessity a leper, 
is still somewhat of a beast." Two hundred years, or so, ago 
cases of leprosy, and scurvy, and allied diseases were frequent 
throughout England ; for at that time all sheep, and cattle, 



278 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

except those reserved lor breeding, were killed, and salted down 
at the beginning of ■winter ; and the meat-eating population 
had for several months in the year only salted meat. Now, 
thanks to the cabbages, and turnips, grown in most cottage 
allotments, and to the winter use of these vegetables on farms, 
such terrible scorbutic diseases as formerly prevailed are no 
longer with us. With reference to the theory that leprosy is 
due in the main to badly-cured, and badly-cooked salt fish, a 
modern authority holds as an opposite opinion that the leprosy 
is owing, not to the imperfect curing of the fish, but to the 
inherent uncleanness of the creature itself. " Fish," says this 
deponent, " are scavengers, garbage-mongers, and devourers 
of carrion ; and although, thanks to a taste for cabbage, we 
nowadays avoid leprosy, we still contract lupus from the turbot, 
epilepsy from the festive whitebait, with tuberculosis from the 
mackerel, and the filleted sole." It has been supposed that the 
mackerel was one of the fish forbidden to the Israelites of old 
under the law " Whatsoever hath not fins and scales, ye may 
not eat." 

The fat of fish comprises a smaller proportion of the compounds 
of solid fatty acids than does the fat of land animals. It is 
mainly composed of the glycerides of various unsaturated acids. 
The fish-liver oils commonly contain certain bile products (which 
give rise to characteristic reactions in colour with acids, and 
alkalies). A considerable proportion of unsaponifiable matter, 
chiefly cholesterin, is also a usual constituent thereof. Iodine 
is sparingly present in fish, but the significance of its 
occurrence is yet obscure. Salt fish is but slowly dissolved in 
the stomach, because its fibres have become hardened by the 
salt. Fish oil for medicinal purposes is obtained principally 
from the Cod, but also from the Pollock, Turbot, Ling, and 
Dorse. The milt, or soft roe, is the spermatic organ and its 
secretion (a sexual stimulant ?) of the male fish ; whilst the 
ovarian spawn, or hard roe, is that of the female fish. Hufeland, 
and others, have found the soft roe of herrings useful against 
tubercular consumption affecting the windpipe. 

Considered widely, a diet comprising frequent fish, always 

fresh, and of proper quality, plainly cooked, is certainly calmative 

for excitable persons of vivaciously nervous temperament. 

Nevertheless, Shakespeare has told of others who : — 

" Making many fish meals. 
Fall into a kind of male green sickness." 



FISH FOODS. 279 



Proteid, and fat, are the chief nutritive constituents found in 
fish, of which the value as a source of energy depends upon the 
amount of contained fat. Fish further includes a considerable 
quantity of waste substance in skin, bones, etc. Lean fi.sh 
are better tolerated by the stomach than the fat ones, and are 
apparently more easily digested, as a rule, than the same quantity 
of lean meat. In hot weather, and for sedentary persons, white 
fish, plainly cooked, is better than meat. Boiled Haddock is very 
suitable for an invalid, but containing innumerable small bones. 
Finnan Haddies, cured and dried at Findhorn, near Aberdeen, 
were originated through a fire in one of the fish-curing houses 
at Port Lethen, on the North Sea, which fire partly burnt a pile 
of lightly-salted, freshly-caught Haddock lying on beds of dry 
kelp. After the flames were extinguished these smoked fish 
were found to be so delicious to the taste, that from then until 
now no one at Port Lethen, or the larger fishing village a mile 
away (Findhorn), has ever cured a Haddock except by smoking 
it over seaweed. 

With respect to fish as specially stimulating the sexual 
functions, this opinion is open to question, and Dr. Pereira has 
pointed out the significant fact that maritime populations are 
not especially prolific. In the time of Elizabeth, on great 
occasions the stewards of noblemen provided dinner for their 
lord's guests; beef, and venison for the rich, but salted fish, 
then known as " Poor John," also apple pies, for the humbler 
visitors. Beating the rolling-pin on the dresser served as a 
dinner bell. In the middle ages fish was a luxury obtainable 
only by the rich, and, except near the coast, it could never have 
been served in anything Uke a fresh condition, the consequence 
being that smaller folk had to subsist on fish imperfectly salted, 
(particularly during the Lenten Fast), and disastrous effects on 
the skin followed. Pepys complained : " Notwithstanding 
my resolution, yet for want of fish, and other victuals, I did eat 
flesh this Lent." Sir Henry Thompson has advised that as a 
rule fish should be roasted (in a Dutch, or American oven), that 
is, cooked by radiated heat, so that none of its juices may be 
dissolved away, and lost. Matthieu Williams commends equally 
for this purpose the side oven of a kitchen range, or a gas oven, 
these being practically roasters. He directs that as a matter 
of course the roasted fish shall be served in the dish wherein it 
is cooked. Here is a way of dressing a fish to make it taste 



280 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

excellent, if you are camping out far afield : " Take some nice 
clean clay, and work it up a little ; then, without either scaling, 
or dressing, plaster your fish (fresh from the water) all over with 
the clay, about an inch thick, and put him right into the hot 
ashes. When 'tis done, the clay, and scales will all peel ofi, 
and you'll have a dish that woiild bring to life any starved man 
if he hadn't been dead more than a week ! That's the ordinary 
way, but if you want an extra touch, cut a hole in the fish, and 
stick in a piece of salt pork, and a few beech-nuts, or meat of 
walnuts, or butternuts, and you'll think you are eating a water- 
angel." Many sorts of fish will break if suddenly immersed, 
for cooking, in water under agitation by boiling, which mis- 
fortune may be prevented by not allowing the water to actually 
boil at all from beginning to end of the cooking. Otherwise, 
not only does the breaking disfigure the fish, but it further opens 
outlets by which the juices escape, and thereby depreciates 
the flavour, besides sacrificing some of the nutritious albumin. 
Izaak Walton advised that. " lying long in water, and washing 
the blood out of any fish after they be gutted, abates much of 
their sweetness. You will find, for example, the Chub being 
dressed in the blood, and quickly, to be such meat as will recom- 
pense your labour, and disabuse your opinion of him ; yet the 
French esteem him so mean as to call him ' JJn villain.' " 

Eespecting the Pike, it is observed by Gesner that " the jaw- 
bones, and hearts, and galls of Pikes are very medicinable for 
several diseases, or to stop blood, to abate fevers, to cure agues, 
and to be many ways medicinable, and useful for the good of 
mankind." The practice obtains generally with doctors to advise 
convalescent patients that they should first resume animal diet 
after a severe illness by taking a Sole, lightly and plainly cooked. 
This fish has a very delicate flavour, and is easily digested by an 
invahd. To stew the same in milk, carefully lift the fillets from 
a very fresh Sole, then roll each piece of fish, and fasten with 
white tape ; lay the fillets in a perfectly clean stewpan, and 
cover them with new milk ; season with a little salt, and simmer 
very gently until tender. The salts of potash, and phosphate of 
lime thus supplied, are highly nutritious mineral constituents, 
whilst the comparatively small quantity of proteids is an 
advantage. An easy way to test the freshness of such fish is 
to press a finger on the flesh, when, if fresh, it will be firm, and 
elastic, but if it be stale, then an indented impression is made 



FISH FOODS. 281 



in the soft flesh. Again, Whiting may be similarly allowed 
when baked in milk. Take a Whiting, half a pint of milk, half 
an ounce of fresh butter, and one quarter of an ounce of flour, 
with salt to taste. Place the fish in a small pie-dish, and pour 
over it the milk ; cover closely, and bake in a slow oven for 
about twenty minutes ; when the flesh leaves the bones readily 
it is done ; then place the fish in a hot dish ; knead the butter 
and flour together in a basin, and add to them the milk in which 
the fish has been cooked ; pour into a saucepan, and boil for 
five minutes, stirring all the time ; serve hot. 

Concerning the fried fish of the Jews, their representative 
modern author of fiction, I. Zangwill, writes : " Fried fish ! 
but such fried fish ! Only a great poet might sing the praises 
of the national dish ! and the golden age of Hebrew poetry is, 
alas, over." " Israel is among other nations as the heart is 
among the limbs," so sang the great Jehuda Haller. " Even 
thus is the fried fish of Judaea to the fried fish of Christendom, 
and heathendom ! " With the audacity of true cuUnary genius 
Jewish fried fish is always served cold ; the skin is of a beautiful 
brown, and the substance firm, and succulent ; the very bones 
thereof are fuU of marrow, yea, and charged with memories 
of the happy past. Fried fish binds Judsea more than all the 
lip professions of unity. Its savour is early known of youth, 
and the divine flavour endeared by a thousand recollections, 
entwined with the most sacred associations, draws back the 
hoary sinner into the paths of piety. It is mayhap on fried fish 
the Jewish matron grows fat. Moreover, there is " gefiillite 
fisck," a delicious thing in Jewish cookery, or fish stufied without 
bones ; but fried fish reigns above all in cold unquestioned 
sovereignty ; no other people possesses the recipe. As a poet 
of the century's commencement has sung : — 

" Ttie Christians are ninnies : they can't fry Dutch plaice ; 
Believe me, they can't tell a Carp from a Dace." 

Izaak Walton " advised anglers to be patient, and to forbear 
swearing, lest they be heard of the finny tribe, and catch no 
fish." Concerning whom Leigh Hunt wrote (1830) : " AngUng 
does indeed seem the next thing to dreaming. It dispenses 
with locomotion, reconciles contradictions, and renders the 
very countenance null, and void. A friend of ours who is an 
admirer of Walton was struck, just as we were, with the likeness 



282 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

oi the old angler's face to a fish. It is hard, angular, and of no 
expression ; it seems to have been a thing ' subdued to what it 
worked in,' — to have become native to the watery element. 
One might have said to Walton, ' Oh, flesh, flesh, how art thou 
fishified ! ' He looked like a Pike dressed in broadcloth instead 
of butter." 

" A pretty kettle of fish " is a familiar phrase as applied to 
any muddled, or mismanaged concern, the " kettle of fish " 
being actually a sort of stew well known in Scotland as fish 
and sauce, generally made from Haddocks. Said Alice {Through 
the Looking Glass) : — 

" I took a kettle, large and new, 

Fit for the deed I had to do ; 
My heart went hop, my heart went thump, 

I fiUed the kettle at the pump. 
Then someone came to me and said, 

' The little fishes are in bed.' 
I said to him, I said it plain, 

' Then you must wake them up again.' " 

It is of essential requirement that all fish before being eaten 
should be raised in temperature somehow (by cooking, for choice) 
to a degree at which all germs of an animal, or a vegetable nature, 
which may be within, or upon the fish, shall be killed. This 
rule must be enforced with regard to fish as rigorously as to 
veal, and pork, in each case for similar reasons ; for it has been 
proved that several varieties of fish harbour in their flesh the 
young forms of certain parasites, which, if they escape death 
by the process of cooking, and are eaten by man, develop within 
his intestinal tract into the adult form of the parasite, and cause 
serious illness, with a long-continued disturbance of health. 
All fish therefore (except some shell-fish) must be cooked for 
the above reason, as well as to make it palatable, in some way 
before it will be eatable ; and of all modes of cooking, to boil 
the fish is easiest, and most certain in efiect. Whenever sea- 
water from the open sea is available for boiling fish it should be 
preferred to water artificially salted, this mode of cooking being 
known as " cb PHoUandaise." Fish cannot be too fresh for 
kitchen purposes ; the Dutch are as nice about this point at the 
present day, as the Romans were formerly. According to 
Seneca, in past times the most fastidious among them would 
not eat fish unless it were cooked on the same day as that of its 
being taken, so that, as they expressed it, " there should be still 



FISH FOODS. 283 



a taste of the sea." Garum, the fish sauce of the ancient Eomans, 
was made of certain fish, to be eaten with other fish. Pliny- 
states that garum had the flesh of shrimps originally for its 
basis (" garos " being the Greek name for shrimp, and " garus " 
the Latin name). Garum was in truth a combination from 
various sea-creatures — the shrimp, scomberfish, anchovy, red 
mullet (with its intestines, and with the roe, soft, and hard). 
Bisque soup, made from the Crawfish {Cancer astacus), is 
credited in Paris with wonderful properties as a sexual restorative. 
The Crayfish, or Crawfish, has been long held in medicinal repute 
also in England, but chiefly as providing what used to be 
employed as " Crabs' eyes," consisting mainly of lime, as 
phosphate, and carbonate. They were given powdered for acid 
indigestion, and heartburn. The Crawfish is found about banks 
of rivers, in holes, or under stones, feeding on small molluscs, 
and larvae. In the French capital " le Bouillon d'Ecrevisses " 
is esteemed as " analeptique, anciennement recommende dans la 
phthisie fulmonaire, dans le lepre, et dans les affections du systeme 
citiane." A spirited allusion to this bouillon was made by 
Meslin de Saint Gelais, Chaplain to Francis the First, of France, 
in a poetical letter addressed to a lady : — 

" Quand on est febrioitant 
Madame on se trouve en risque, 
Et pour un assez longtemps, 
De ne jouer a la brisque. 
Et de mal diner, partant 
De ne point manger de bisque 
Si rude, et si faoheux risque 
Que je bisque en y songeant." 

Shrimps, again (or Gravesend sweetmeats), when fried in 
their shelly coverings, are very delicious ; the chitin, or horny 
material of the outer coat, is thus cooked to crispness ; though 
for this effect the Shrimps must be fried just as they come from 
the sea, not as they are usually sold by the fishmonger after 
having been boiled in salted water. " Shrimps," as Eobert 
Lovell supposed (1661), " were held to be good for sick people, 
and of few excrements, being of the best juyce." These " sea- 
flies " are caught in great abundance near Margate ; the red, 
or beaked. Shrimp is superior to the brown, or flat-nosed species. 
In the South Sea Islands live Shrimps, pure, and transparent, 
are scattered over a salad, have vinegar dashed quickly over 
them, and, being caught up in a leaf, half-a-dozen of them are 



284 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

tossed into the mouth. Shrimps are carnivorous feeders, being of 
repute against consumption, and highly restorative in chicken 
broth. 

The Sole does not keep long, and should be eaten as fresh as 
possible ; when in roe its flesh is insipid. The Lemon Sole is, if 
not really a different species, at all events inferior in kind. A 
well-flavoured Sole is the " Sea-partridge." 

The Red Mullet, abundant on all Mediterranean coasts, and 
taken in the English Channel, particularly at Plymouth, is 
termed by some the " Woodcock of the Sea," as its trail is eaten 
if properly cooked. When dressed the fish should be only 
lightly scraped, or not scraped at all ; the gills should then be 
pulled away, and such part of the trail as is connected with them ; 
no other evisceration is required. The name of this fish, Mullus 
surmulletus, is said to be derived from mvMus, the scarlet sandal, 
or shoe, worn by the Eoman Consuls. Fishermen usually scrape 
ofi the scales with their thumb-nails immediately the mullets 
are caught, else the rich crimson hue invariably fades ; then the 
bared skin becomes brilliantly red. The fiesh is white, and 
remarkably free from fat. The flavour of the fish improves 
with its size, and small fish deprived of the liver are more or less 
insipid. The method of cooking them, by rolling in paper to 
prevent injuring the skin, has been observed for at least two 
thousand years. The Romans placed enormous value upon 
the Mullet, paying its weight in gold when unusually large. 
Sussex boasts an Arundel Mullet, a Chichester Lobster, a Shelsey 
Cockle, and an Amerly Trout. 

Sprats contain a large amount of oily fat, disagreeable in 
flavour, and quite uneatable ; this causes all culinary preparations 
of the Sprat, except when broiled, to be unattractive, or repulsive ; 
broihng dissipates, or volatilizes, most of the oil. The Sprat 
(Encrasicholus, or bitter-headed) should be decapitated, and 
deprived of its gall ; pickled like the Anchovy it strengthens 
the stomach ; the flesh taken before meat loosens the beUy. 
The true Anchovy was esteemed of old as giving tone to the 
stomach, restoring appetite, loosening the belly, and good against 
agues. When these fish are salted, and placed in barrels, a little 
reddish ochrous earth is added to give them colour, which mineral 
is dangerous unless well washed ofi at the time of serving the 
Anchovies. Sprats are often supplied as sardines ; naturalists 
do not recognize a fish called a sardine-. This term merely signifies 



FISH FOODS. 285 



a mode of preparation : perhaps Pilchards may be likewise 
employed. Pepys wrote (August 27th, 1660) : " Major Hart 
come to me, whom I did receive with wine, and Anchovies, 
which made me so dry that I was ill with them all night, and 
was fain to have the girl rise and fetch me some drink." Dr. 
Kitchener tells that the Epicure Quin was superlatively pleased 
with the Banns of Marriage between delicate Ann Chovy, and 
good John Dory. 

A former Yarmouth historian relates that the Dutch fishermen 
highly esteem the medicinal qualities of the Herring. An old 
saying of theirs runs to the effect, " Herrings in the land, the 
doctor at a stand." The fat beneath the Herrihg's skin, like 
that of the Sprat, is never of a good flavour, and ought to be 
extracted before the fish is eaten ; this is best done by broiling 
the Herring. A century back Herring plasters were much in 
vogue. Again, a Red Herring when steeped in tar was thought 
to be a sovereign remedy for a cow which had lost the power of 
chewing the cud. 

Half a century or more ago the labourers in Cornwall dined 
at noon, for the most part on Pilchards, and potatoes cooked 
in their jackets. The fish, boiled together with the potatoes, 
were placed on plates, but the cooked potatoes were cast in a 
heap on the bare table, each member of the family taking a 
helping, and peeling their own potatoes. Shipments of the 
Pilchard (Clupea filohardus), when salted, are sent from Cornwall 
largely to Italy, for consumption there during Lent. These fish 
appear in immense numbers on the Cornish coast about the 
middle of July. They resemble the Herring, but are thicker, 
and rounder. " Fools are as like husbands as Pilchards are to 
Herrings." Train oil is expressed from the Pilchard's liver. 

" The Perch, or Peurch, is so wholesome," says a German 
proverb, " that physicians allow him to be eaten by wounded 
men, or by men in fevers, or by women in child-bed." 

The Plaice (Platepa) has ruddy spots on its surface, and a small, 
wry mouth. Tom Hood pretended to be angry with his wife 
for buying this fish when broken out into red spots ; also, writing 
to a favourite child, he told her that having caught a Plaice 
spotted red he thought he had " caught the measles." 

The Whiting {Merlangus), one of the Cod family, has flesh 
of a pearly whiteness. " And here's a chain of Whitings' eyes 
for pearls." Whiting soup had at one time a notoriety for 



286 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

increasing the flow of breast milk with nursing mothers, but 
Dr. Routh gives very much the preference to Conger Eel soup 
in this respect. " Do you know why it is called a Whiting ? " 
asked the Gryphon {Alice in Wonderland). " I never thought 
about it," said Alice. " Why, it does the boots and shoes," 
the Gryphon replied very solemnly. " What are your shoes 
done with ? I mean what makes them so shiny ? " Alice 
looked down at them, and said, " They're done with blacking, 
I believe." " Boots and shoes under the sea," the Gryphon 
went on to say in a deep voice, " are done with Whiting ; now 
you know." " And what are they made of ? " asked Alice in 
a tone of great curiosity. " Soles, and Eels," the Gryphon 
repUed. " Any Shrimp could have told you that." " Merlans 
manges ne restent non flus dans I'estomac, que pendus d la ceinture." 
Cockles, and Winkles, are popular shell-fish in the poorer 
parts of London, and other cities. As a street scene in a squalid 
South London district on a dismal winter's Saturday night, at 
the various itinerant stalls for cheap articles of food, we read 
how " a pale-faced young woman is poking a Cockle into her 
year-old baby's mouth with her forefinger, as she tells the 
merchant that the ' little un tykes to 'em as kindly as 'er dad 
does.' " On another stall hard by are tiny flat fish which suggest 
a minimum of nutriment, lying at a respectful distance from 
more or less fresh, and worn-looking haddocks, the vendor pro- 
claiming the merits of his wares in no modest terms. (Venator, 
in The Complete Angler, has told of those that venture upon the 
sea, and are there shipwrecked, drowned, and left to feed 
haddocks.) "As we presently moralize on the pathetic scene, 
the devoted mother with the infant, who can scarcely have yet 
digested its Cockle, comes again in sight, stops at a small fruit 
stall, purchases a very green apple, and, biting ofE one half, 
begins to administer the other by easy instalments to the babe, 
perhaps as an antidote to the fish course. No wonder the 
chemist's shop over the way does a roaring trade ; and the 
tall-hatted, frock-coated young doctor, standing on his doorstep, 
looks cheerfully up and down the street awaiting developments." 
" Turning down a side-street on our homeward journey, we pass 
a provision shop lit up by rows of flaring gas-jets, and with many 
cheap dainties exposed outside. The pious proprietor, not 
content with extolling his butter, eggs, cheese, and bacon on 
three large announcement boards, devotes a fourth, and still 



FISH FOODS. 287 



larger one, to warning all and sundry to prepare themselves 
betimes for a future state, this board standing in suggestive 
proximity to a festoon of the highly questionable carcases of 
tenpenny rabbits." 

Mackerel, when a big haul has been made on the coast, finds 
its way abundantly into the cheap markets on hucksters' stalls 
for the poor. In former times, because of its perishable nature, 
it was allowed to be sold on a Sunday. Gay notes, " Ev'n 
Sundays are prophaned by Mackrell cries." This fish furnishes 
nearly 3 per cent of xanthin, or uric acid. 

" But flounders, sprats and cucumbers were cry'd, 
And every voice, and every sound were try'd. 
At last the law this hideous din supprest, 
And ordered that the Sunday should have rest, 
And that no nymph the noisy food should sell 
Except it were new milk, or mackerel. 
Hence mack'rel seem delightful to the eyes, 
Tho' drest with incoherent gooseberries." 

Art of Cookery. 

The Mackerel is from Maculellus, spotted, of the Scombridae, 
because of their brilliant prismatic coats. 

The Turbot (Psella maxima) is called after " a top," being also 
the Water-pheasant (with a flavour of its flesh, like that of the 
game bird), and the " Cannock fluke." The Greeks and Latins 
named it " Romhus, the lozenge, which beareth justly that figure." 
It is the largest flat fish of European waters except the halibut. 
For invalids fond of Lobster, but who may not eat this, a salad 
thereof may be well imitated by cutting strips of cold boiled 
Turbot, and colouring them outside with beetroot juice, or by 
substituting cold Turbot, with pepper, and vinegar. " If you 
would live long" — says a trite adage — "avoid controversy, 
lobster salad, and quarrelsome folk." 

The Salmon (Salmo, king of fish) is red-fleshed, and contains 
much fat, which is interspersed amongst the muscular fibres, 
and is accumulated under the skin. This fish is at its best just 
before spawning ; on returning afterwards to the sea it is thin, 
and wasted. " Daintie, and wholesome is the Salmon," wrote 
Fuller, " and a double riddle in nature : First, for its invisible 
feeding, no man alive having ever found any meat in the maw 
thereof ; secondly, for its strange leaping, or flying rather, so 
that some will have them termed Salmons, a saliendo." The 
fish is not named a Salmon before it attains the age of six years ; 



288 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

in its first year it is called smolt, in the second sprod, in the third 
mort, in the fourth fork-tail, and in the fifth half-fish. When 
Salmon is crimped immediately after its removal from the water 
its flesh remains more solid, and retains the curd, or the coagulable 
albumin, which becomes a milky curd after the fish is boiled ; 
but when the fish is kept a few days its flesh undergoes a change 
whereby the curd disappears ; the meat then becomes more 
tender, and is improved in taste, or, as some enthusiasts declare, 
oily and balsamic properties are developed which render the 
flesh nutritious, and invigorating, diuretic, pectoral, and restor- 
ative. " By the fishmonger," says The Art of Cookery, 

" Crabs, salmon, lobsters are with Fennel spread 
That never touched the herb till they were dead." 

Tinned Salmon is a questionable form of food, because at times 
the can has not remained completely air-tight, or the fish being 
left, however short a time, within the can after it has been 
opened, acts on the tin, and poisonous products are formed. 
B3rron has recorded the prevailing notion that in his day Salmon 
was thought to need serving with a corrective sauce of some 
kind : — 

" From travellers accustomed from a boy 
To eat their Salmon at the least with Soy." 

The Tench {Tinea vulgaris), being of a golden yellow colour, 
was formerly commended, on the doctrine of signatures, for 
giving to persons with jaundice, and liver obstructions. It was 
further supposed to have some healing virtue in its touch. 
Izaak Walton says in his Compleat Angler : " The Tench is 
observed to be a physician to other fish ; and it is affirmed that 
a Pike will neither devour, nor hurt him, because the Pike being 
sick, or hurt by any accident, is cured by touching the Tench." 

FOODS. 

With respect to foods of divers sorts, which embody curative 
virtues whilst served at table by way of customary meals, certain 
desultory matters will not be out of place here. The only cure 
for a host of bodily derangements, such as gout, rheumatism, 
biliousness, and kidney troubles, is a stern attention to the diet, 
always being mindful that too much food prematurely wears 
out the digestive energies, and their parent organs, through 



FOODS. 2S9 



imposing an excess of work upon them. By way of a rest, an 
occasional fast, of varying duration according to the individual 
powers, is a most excellent thing. Human nature is, moreover, 
made up of both sentiment, and hunger, so that Thomas Hood 
was truthful in his epicurean reminiscences when he said : — 

■' T'vvas at Christmas, I think, when I met with Miss Chase, 
Yes ! for Morris had asked me to dine ; • 

And I thought I had never beheld such a face. 
Or so noble a turkey, and chine." 

As soon as man began to pass from a vegetable to an animal diet 

" O fortunatos nimium sua, si bona norint, 
Agricolas ! " Virgil's Oeorgic. ii. 4.'58. 

and to feed on flesh, fowl, and fish, then condiments became 
necessary, both to render such foods more palatable, and 
savoury, and also to preserve from intestinal corruption those 
parts which were not immediately used up. Probably salt 
was the first seasoning discovered for such a purpose ; 
we read of this in the Book of Leviticus ii. 13, " Every 
meat-oSering shalt thou season with salt." " Certain dyspep- 
tics," as Dr. King Chambers teaches, " get into a bad habit of 
striking out from their bill of fare henceforward everything that 
has once seemed to disagree, the result of which policy is an 
unwholesome monotony of wrongly-chosen victuals, and a 
despairing resignation to a needless abstinence. Let them, on 
the other hand, take the more hopeful course of adding to their 
dietary everything that they have once found to agree, and they 
will acquire a choice nearly as extensive as their robust brethren 
could wish. If one cook cannot make a coveted article digestible, 
let them try another." It is noteworthy that several of the large 
leading West End Hotels in London now think it worth while 
to make a special feature of invalid diet. The truth is, most 
persons suffer nowadays from some one or other ailment, gout 
it may be, or rheumatism, bloodlessness, skin trouble, influenza, 
neuralgia, diabetes, kidney disorder, or what not, for which 
persons the regulation meals are quite unsuitable. Perhaps 
milk only is desired, or prepared cocoa, plain bread, boiled 
chicken, fish free from grease, and delicate, simple, sugarless, 
butterless, or acidless puddings. At present everything of such 
sort which an invalid may want is happily provided at these 
several Hotels. 

19 



290 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Hippocrates said, in an aphorism, that " the younger a human 
being is, the easier is it starved, until we come to extreme old 
age, when the powers of life are considered by some physiologists, 
Celsus among the number, to give way more quickly under 
famine than those of middle-aged men." Again, a nutritious 
diet, and a plentiful increase of good constructive food, are 
indispensable for children, hitherto badly fed, among the poor, 
who are found to suffer from inflammation of the eyes as to their 
outer membranes, with some ulceration thereof. To treat such 
cases medicinally whilst restricting the diet, would be a lamentable 
mistake. It is also an assured fact that certain physical troubles, 
such as corns, and enlargements of the toe-joints, with cold feet, 
each from a gouty condition, will improve under diminished 
food, the enlargements of the toes become lessened, and the 
peeling of the outermost skin, by removing the hardened hyper- 
trophied growth, whilst forming a sounder tissue beneath, 
enables well-fitting shoes, or boots, even smaller than before, 
to be worn with comfort. Corns, and likewise certain cancerous 
indurations about the lips, or elsewhere, are actual overgrowths 
of the outermost skin, and they both arise fundamentally from 
an excess of certain materials in the blood ; considering which 
we may conclude that to cure these evils we should restrict the 
diet accordingly. For example, a man, forty-eight years of 
age, who had lessened his daily food in order to mitigate, or 
cure, bronchitis, and asthma, combined with rheumatism, (in 
which endeavour he was altogether successful), became much 
surprised to find that the corns (hard, and soft) from which he 
had suffered for many years, altogether disappeared likewise 
under this code of treatment. Of course, corns are indirectly 
the effect of pressure from outside by tight, or ill-fitting shoes. 
But any direct pressure would of itself make the skin thinner, 
just as pressure tends to wear out a boot-sole ; whereas the 
indirect effect of pressure on living tissues is to thicken them 
through excessive nutrition ; so says Dr. Eabagliati in his 
Book of Aphorisms. 

The great Duke of Wellington looked upon physic, and 
much food, as things equally objectionable, and to be avoided. 
■" All my life," he declared, " I have taken as little medicine 
as I could ; and I have always eaten, and drunk, as little as 
possible." Saint Francis of Assisi once, when obliged to dine 
at the sumptuous table of a rich gourmand, instead of eating 



FOODS. 291 

the rare meats, sprinkled ashes thereupon, saying as he did it, 
" Brother ash is good." Nevertheless, nourishing and abundant 
food is essential for invalids whose nervous system has failed under 
some prolonged taxation of its endurance, so that impairment 
of the brain's functions, or painful neuralgia, or sleeplessness 
has supervened, especially through excess of literary work. 

" Tales versus facio quale viuum bibo. 
Nihil possum soribexe nisi sumpto cibo, 
Nihil valet penitus quod jejunus scribe, 
Nasonem post calices carmine prceibo." 

Confession of Golias (12th century). 

Wm. Hazlitt tells in his Conversation of Authors (1801) : 
" There was Lamb himself, the most delightful, the most 
provoking, the most witty, and sensible of men. He always 
made the best pun, and the best remark in the course of the 
evening at a meal. No one ever stammered out such fine, 
piquant, deep, eloquent things in half-a-dozen sentences as he. 
How often did we cut into the haunch of letters while we discussed 
the haunch of mutton on the table ! How we skimmed the 
cream of criticism ! How we got into the heart of astronomy ! 
How we picked out the marrow of authors ! On one occasion 
he was for making out a list of persons famous in history whom 
one would wish to see again in the flesh, at the head of whom 
were Pontius Pilate, Sir Thomas Browne, and Doctor Faustus. 
With what a gusto would he describe his favourite authors, 
Donne, and Sir Philip Sidney, calling their most crabbed pages 
delicious ! He tried them on his palate as epicures taste olives, 
and his observations had a smack in them like roughness on the 
tongue. To finish this subject, Mrs. Montagu's conversation 
is as fine-cut as her features, and I like to sit in the room with 
that sort of coronet face ; what she says leaves a flavour like 
her green tea. Hunt's is like Champagne, and Northcote's 
like Anchovy sandwiches ; Lamb's like Snap-dragon ; and my 
own (if I do not mistake the matter) is not very much unlike 
a game at nine-pins." 

It is quite possible that much of the world's food-supply will 
be furnished on some future day, not far ofi, by electricity. 
Already we know that when powerful electrical discharges occur 
in air, nitric acid is produced, which, when combined presently 
with soda, potash, or lime in the soil, produces the nitrates so 
indispensable for plant life. And it is asserted that by simply 



292 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

passing a current of definite potential energy through soda-water, 
a series of products is formed culminating in sugars ; oxalic 
acid is first formed, then tartaric acid, next citric acid, until 
grape sugar appears. 

The paramount importance of phosphatic foods for building 
up the vital structures of nervous centres, and the main 
bodily organs, is unquestionable ; so that food sources of 
phosphorus as present in alkaline phosphates are well worth 
consideration. Those foods which are most rich in phosphoric 
elements are yolk of egg, fish roe, the germ of wheat, calves' 
brains, and the thymus gland. Furthermore, phosphates 
of potash, soda, and other mineral salts are furnished inter alia 
by the cabbage, potatoes, lentils, and new milk. Phosphoric 
acid occurs with animals, and vegetables, in varying degrees. 
The phosphorus, whereof we cannot over-rate the importance, 
is present inorganically, as well as in combination with alkalies, 
or earths. Dr. King Chambers, however, explains as to certain 
popular notions with respect to taking phosphorus as of power 
for specially feeding the brain. He elucidates this matter by 
telling that " the dogmatic expression of Biichner's — ' No 
thinking without phosphorus ' — has gained an unhappy 
notoriety. If it be held to mean that the amount of phosphorus 
passing through the nervous system bears a proportion to the 
intensity of thought, it is simply a mis-statement of facts. A 
captive lion, tiger, or leopard, or hare, who can have wonderfully 
little to think about, assimilates, and parts with a greater 
quantity of phosphorus than a professor of chemistry working 
hard in his laboratory ; while a beaver, who always seems to be 
contriving something, excretes so little phosphorus, at least in 
his urine, that chemical analysis cannot detect it. All that the 
physiologist is justified in stating is that for the mind to energize 
in a living body, that body must be kept living up to a certain 
standard, and that for this continuous renewal of life a supply 
of phosphatic salts is required. The phosphates, indeed, are 
wanted, but wanted by pinches, whilst water must be pouring 
in by pailfuls. One might go on thinking for weeks without 
phosphates, but without water only a few days ; and without 
oxygen a few minutes would terminate the train of self -conscious- 
ness. The practical points taught us by physiology are, that 
for the integrity of thought, the integrity of the nervous system 
is requisite, and for the integrity of the nervous system, a due 



FOWL. 293 

quantity of such food as contains digestible phosphatic salts." 
Acting on which plain principle, not only foods rich in the 
phosphates are to be specially commended for invalid conditions, 
where there is a deficiency of the same, but the phosphatic salts 
themselves may be superadded in small quantities to the appro- 
priate foods, particularly for children with scrofulous ailments, 
or rickets. Cerebos Salt, which is now frequently supplied by 
the grocer as " best salt," is a mixture of four parts of phosphates 
derived from bran, with ninety-six parts of ordinary table salt ; 
" but this is " (says Dr. Hutchison) " of doubtful utility, because 
the phosphates thus present are purely in an inorganic lorm." 
Otherwise such phosphates help much to repair defective brain^ 
and nerve structures, whilst promoting the growth of bone in 
children. If a saltspoonful of Cerebos is stirred in a wineglassful 
of cold water, it will then form a milky fluid, thus showing that 
it is something more than common salt. It does not cake in the 
saltcellar, and may be sprinkled as freely as sifted sugar. For 
retaining the potash salts in potatoes they must be cooked in 
their jackets. 

FOWL. 

The Capon (a cock-chicken fed for the table), " being fat, and 
not old, is generally for all bodies, and in all respects for whole- 
someness of meat, the best of all fowls, for it is easily digested, 
and acceptable to the stomacke, and maketh much good, firme, 
and temperate nourishment, almost altogether free from excre- 
ment " ; thus quoth Dr. Tobias Venner (1620). " Poultry," 
declares Brillat Savarin, "is to the sick man who has been 
floating over an uncertain, and uneasy sea, hke the first odour, 
or sight of land, to the storm-beaten, exhausted mariner." 
Nevertheless, this same experienced gastronome regards the 
pullet as being no more to a cook than his canvas is to the painter, 
which is, of course, to say that a chicken is only a mere vehicle 
for exploiting the cook's learning, and skill. What is termed 
by the chef a " Spread Eagle," or " Poulet a la Crafoline," is a 
young, plump chicken split down the back, and flattened, its 
breastbone being removed, and the bird being seasoned, oiled 
(or buttered), and grilled, or baked. The breast of a boiled 
chicken is among the most digestible forms of animal food, but 
the leg muscles are often tough, and stringy. Moreover, very 



294 MEALS MEDICINAL 

fat poultry should be avoided by the dyspeptic, as such fat is 
particularly apt to become rancid in the stomach. 

Chicken broth, if poured on sippets of bread laid at the bottom 
of the dish in which boiled fowl, or partridge, is served, makes a 
capital sauce therewith, when the invalid is well enough to be 
allowed solid food. Some cooks add the feet when making the 
broth, but these members contribute a peculiar, and not always 
acceptable flavour. Again, those persons to whom cost is an 
object, may make a very good broth of fowls' heads, ends of 
pinions, and feet alone, these being obtained cheap from any 
poulterer. Fowls' liver soup (" Pofage a la Camerani ") was at 
one time prepared according to a secret method known only to 
Grimod de la Reyniere, and his compeers. Thus the fable arose 
that its concoction in 1806 cost three louis d'or for each person 
who partook of it at dinner. To standard broth, just before it 
is done, are added fowls' livers, one for each person, finely 
minced, whilst the tureen should contain some ready-boiled 
macaroni, and Parmesan cheese. According to certain French 
enthusiasts " a single spoonful of this liver soup will lap the 
palate in Elysium ; and while one drop thereof remains on the 
tongue, each other sense continues eclipsed by a voluptuous 
thrilling of the lingual nerves." Verily it might be quoted of 
the said boastful " cordon bleu,'' in the words of Ingoldsby : — 

" He seemed by his talk. 
And the airs he assumed, to be ' cock of the walk.' " 

The right wing of a fowl, having the liver tucked into it, is preferred 
by epicures. " Mr. Pumblechook " (Dickens, in Great Expecta- 
tions) " helped me to the liver-wing, and to the best slice of 
tongue." Lord Tennyson declared that the only advantage 
he got from being Poet Laureate, was that he invariably had 
given him the liver-wing of a chicken at luncheon. Venetia 
Anastasia, the wife of Sir Kenelm Digby (1650), was remarkable 
for her extraordinary beauty ; and he was so proud of her that 
to preserve her health he kept her supplied with the flesh of 
capons fed on vipers. In order to retain her lovely complexion 
he was continually inventing new cosmetics for her use; and it is 
suspected that this too great love for her was the cause of her 
death, for one morning she was found dead in her bed, at the 
early age of thirty-three. 
An English officer in India not long ago set before his guests 



FOWL. 295 

at. dinner with great success, and satisfaction all round, a turkey 
stuffed with the strong-flavoured gum-asafoetida, known to 
druggists as having a powerful odour, and a persistent taste of 
garlic (with anti-spasmodic medicinal effects). It is the concrete 
juice from the roots of several large umbelliferous plants belonging 
to the genus Ferula, having a bitter, acrid taste, whilst consisting 
of resin, gum, and an essential oil which contains phosphorus, and 
sulphur. In Persia, and Afghanistan, this sap is collected also 
as a culinary condiment to be employed by the Indian cook, 
but in such infinitesimal quantities as to suggest rather than to 
convey the actual flavour. With curry, and rice, it is found to 
be delicious when skilfully combined. A Eoyal Academician 
who was noted among his friends for making an exquisite salad, 
always passed asafoetida over the bowl. John Evelyn makes 
reference to this " foetid asa " as highly prized at classic Delphi : 
" Nor are some of our modern skilful cooks ignorant of how to 
condite it, with the applause of those who are unaware of the 
secret." Pureira tells of a noted gourmet, who assured him that 
" the finest relish which a beefsteak can possess may be com- 
municated to it by rubbing the gridiron on which the steak is 
to be cooked with asafoetida." The gum in moderate quantity 
acts on all parts of the body as a wholesome stimulant, enUvening 
the spirits, and at the same time improving the vision ; it 
quickens the appetite, and invigorates the digestion, particularly 
in persons of a cold, languid temperament. 

The late Archbishop Magee was once asked, or rather 
volunteered the reply, that " the two things which tired him 
most in his clerical administrative consecrations, were the 
hymn, ' The Church's One Foundation,' and cold chicken 
for lunch afterwards." As compared with lean beef, which 
contains eighty-six grains of proteid food in an ounce, the flesh 
of the common fowl contains eighty grains. 

In cases of wasting, bloodlessness, and great prostration 
of strength, the fresh blood of animals, such as fowls, 
mixed with warm wine, or milk, punch, warm lemonade, or 
coffee, and taken immediately, or before its coagulation ensues, 
proves highly useful. It relieves extreme weakness (as in a case 
of flooding), restores the bodily warmth, and circulation, acting 
better, and more promptly, it is said, than transfusion of human 
blood from vein to vein. The fresh blood of two or three 
chickens should be given thus in twenty-four hours, according 



296 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

to the authoritative advice of a leading medical text-book. 
But in refutation of this advice, Dr. R. Hutchison now enters 
his protest as follows : " Blood is a dilute fluid in animals, and 
man, having in every 100 parts from 78 to 82 of water. It is 
not of itself the food of the tissues to which it is circulated in 
the body, but merely the vehicle by means of which nourish- 
ment is carried from the intestines to the places where it is 
required in the body. One might as well expect a spoon to be 
of nutritive value because it conveys food from the plate to the 
mouth." Two French experimenters found that fresh blood 
when administered to dogs, even in the liberal allowance of two 
pounds daily, did not suffice to maintain the life of the animals 
for more than a month. Blood, in fact, from a chemical point 
of view, is not so much thicker than water after all ; in its solids 
there is plenty of proteid (primary food), but the other nutritive 
constituents needed to sustain life, as fat, and sugar, starch, 
and glucose, are only in quite an inappreciable amount. Further- 
more, the red colouring matter (haemoglobin) which makes up 
the larger part of the proteid, is a substance which is very far 
from being completely absorbed. Thus it happens that though 
blood may be used dietetically without much harm, yet at the 
same time it will be without much benefit, as given in black 
puddings, and similar culinary preparations ; this being true 
also of the use of animal blood for the sick as a source of 
iron. 

Importance should be attached to the proper and wholesome 
feeding of fowls which are served for the invalid. They are 
afiected healthfully, or otherwise, as to their quality of flesh, 
by the care exercised in feeding them, and the character of the 
fodder which is supplied to them. Recently a French experi- 
mentalist kept some domestic fowls in cages, exclusively on 
hashed meat (previously stripped of sinew, and fat), with as 
much water as they liked to drink. At first this diet seemed to 
salt well enough ; but after some time (in from three to five 
months) the fowls began to show positive signs of gout ; their 
legs became weak, and their gait uncertain ; their joints were 
seen to be manifestly swollen, whilst on some days the birds re- 
mained lying down, and would not take any food. Attacks of 
this nature became more and more frequent, and finally the fowls 
grew thin, and died. Deposits of urates were found around the 
joints, as well as in the sheaths of the tendons ; likewise some 



FOWL. 297 

in the kidneys. A doctor in Paris ascertained that the adminis- 
tration to a hen of any medicament results in a similarly doctored 
egg, and he recommends the faculty of physicians to make a 
practical use of this discovery. It has naturally elicited scorn- 
fully humorous comment : — 

" In dealing with the modem egg 

Please pause e'er you begin it. 
Inspect it carefully, I beg. 

There's something nauseous in it. 
Be wary, scrutinize it well. 

Lest nasty drugs be present. 
There's castor oil within the shell, 

Or things still more unpleasant." 

It is noteworthy that the giblets of poultry exercise certain 
solvent properties on other foods, particularly by the gizzard, 
which in fowls secretes their gastric juice, whilst its lining 
membrane will coagulate milk, just as rennet does from the calf. 
Giblets as a combination include the gizzard, head, neck, heart, 
joints, and pinions of poultry, principally of geese, turkeys, 
and ducks. From the dried, and powdered lining of the fowl's 
gizzard, is prepared " ingluvin," a pepsin of specific use against 
the sickness of pregnant women, especially if taken shortly 
before food. 

Various culinary methods of preparing poultry for the sick 
are detailed in Kitchen Physic, which it would be tedious to 
repeat. As a specially suitable dish for the convalescent 
before proceeding to red meat, boiled fowl, and chicken mould, 
are to be commended. For the former, put the chicken to 
boil for one and a quarter hours with just enough cold water 
to cover it ; season with salt, and four or five sliced onions 
(unless forbidden), a bunch of herbs, and about a dozen pepper- 
corns ; simmer gently until tender ; then make use of the liquor, 
boiling it down to the required quantity, with the onions in it 
for flavouring. For chicken mould, take a large chicken, one 
quart of cold water, pepper, and salt ; skin the chicken, and put 
it into a saucepan with the water, and boil it the usual time ; 
take it out, and cut pieces from the breast, and legs ; put back 
the bones, etc., into the saucepan, and boil till the water is 
reduced to a pint ; strain it, and add to the liquor the pieces 
of chicken cut ofE, minced finely, and pepper and salt to taste ; 
let it stand until cold, and jellied, then turn it out. 



298 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

The " Poule d'lnde," or fowl of India, cock, or hen, is our 
Turkey {Mdeagris), the bubbly jock of Scotland, which, originally 
came from America, having been first found wild there, and 
nowhere else. Turkeys do not hail from Turkey any more than 
Turkey corn, which also came first from America. In Paris 
this fowl has become known as a dindon, or " poulet d'lnde," 
though quite on an equal misconception of its origin. " When 
young," said Robert Lovell (1661), " it reoovereth strength, 
nourisheth plentifully, kindleth lust, and agreeth with every 
temper, and complexion, except too hot, and troubled with 
rheumes, and gouts." " The flesh," wrote Dr. Salmon (1695), 
" is most excellent food, and of great nourishment ; you may 
concoct broth, ale, or jelly of it against consumptions, for it 
restoreth strength plentifully, and agrees with all dispositions." 
Young Turkeys will not fatten unless they have free access to 
pebbles, many of which are found in their gizzards. This lordly 
fowl began to appear as a Christmas dish about 1585. " Turkeys, 
hops, and carp " were introduced into England during the reign 
of Henry the Eighth. After the middle ages Turkeys were 
practically extinct in Europe ; they were imported again in 
1432 by a French trader who was master of the Mint, and 
director of Artillery in the service of Charles the Seventh of 
France. The story is told of a gourmand who, when recovering 
from an illness, was allowed by his doctor, in writing, as a simple 
dinner, " Une cuisse de ■poulet." But scarcely had the doctor 
taken his departure when the patient caught up the prescribed 
menu-card, and, cleverly imitating the physician's hand, added 
" d'lnde " after fouLet. This order being duly carried out by 
the cook, the patient regaled himself on a big meal, and a laugh 
at the doctor's expense. The Turkey Cock goes by the popular 
names Gobble Cock, and Gobbler. Said Sam Weller {Pickwick) 
when getting into some trouble, " I'm pretty tough J that's 
vun consolation, as the wery old Turkey remarked ven the 
farmer said he wos afeer'd he should have to kill him for the 
London market." Alexis Soyer, the noted London chef, at the 
time of the Crimean War, invented a hundred- guinea dish, for 
producing which a hundred Turkeys had to be slaughtered, 
each of which furnished only the two dark pieces of solid 
flesh from the hips, called by the French " le sot I'y laisse." 
Meleager, after whom the Turkey is named, was a king of 
Macedonia. 



FROG. 299 



FROG. 



As is well known, Frogs are esteemed for the table in France, 
their thighs being chiefly eaten there, though in Germany the 
other muscular parts are similarly used. Even amongst 
ourselves, an edible Frog is found about Cambridgeshire, and 
Norfolk, which is of admirable nourishing use. The flesh is 
mainly gelatinous, and closely resembles that of delicate white 
chicken. Fried with tomatoes, or mushrooms, and bacon, these 
English Frogs are simply delicious ; so says the Tramps' Hand- 
book (1902). It is to an historical dish of Frogs served to Madame 
Volta, we owe the important discovery of voltaic electricity. 
The creatures yield a bland broth rich in mucin, and when cooked, 
together with edible snails, they afiord a mucilaginous and 
gelatinous potage, which greatly comforts raw, sore, denuded 
lining surfaces of the mouth, and throat, serving to restore the 
lost protective covering of which these parts have become 
morbidly deprived. For such broth, hay saSron is the orthodox 
condiment, and colouring addition. The edible Frog is olive- 
green in appearance, with yellow stripes on its back ; there is 
no valid reason why we should regard it with aversion, as it 
lives on insects, and slugs, varied with vegetable matters, just 
in the same way as many birds, animals, and fishes which we 
are quite wilHng to consume. Frog-farming in Canada is made 
quite a profitable business ; no fewer than 5,000 pounds in 
weight of Frogs' legs prepared for table use, was the output of 
one Ontarian farm alone during last season, and still the demand 
exceeds the supply. 

Frog pies were mtroduced into England from Italy by Thomas 
Coryate, (Furcifer) — (see Coryate's Crudities, 1602). " I did 
eate fried Frogges in this citie, which is a dish much used in 
many cities of Italy." They were highly esteemed in London 
from James the First's time till the death of Charles the Second. 
If fricasseed in white wine, the Frog has been long found more 
delicate than chicken, and an easily digested dish. 

" Muse, sing the man that did to Paris go, 
That he might taste their soups, and mushrooms know. 
Oh ! how would Homer praise their dancing dogs, 
Their fetid cheese, and fricassee of frogs." 

Dr. Hutchison pronounces to-day that the Rana esculenta, 
or edible Frog, is readily digested, and of a delicate flavour. The 



300 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

tind legs are taken, skinned, and the claws twisted together, 
in which form they resemble appetizing little lamb cutlets. " It 
is absolutely impossible," says a French goarmet, " to bring 
on an indigestion by Frogs, no matter what quantity you eat." 
The edible portions should first be thrown into plenty of fresh 
cold water to blanch ; next they should be drained, and dried ; 
then put to soak awhile in white of eggs (well beaten up) ; now 
powder them over with flour, and finally fry them in plenty of 
fine olive oil until they are crisp as " the Whitebait of the 
Minister, that treasure of the sea," and until the bones have 
become changed into something so rich and strange, that they 
melt in the mouth. Add a lemon, red pepper, brown bread, 
and butter, to complete the " loaves and fishes " illusion, and 
say if a " fricasee de grenouiUes " be not much easier to eat than 
to pronounce, and a species of " small deer " by no means to be 
abandoned to poor Tom. You can devil them, too, if you like, 
and they make a tip-top curry, or they fry well in batter, or 
you may stew them in butter, and white wine, with parsley, 
and garlic enough to swear by, chopped up fine. But no matter 
how they be cooked, they are very pretty eating, and make a 
delicious entree, more tender than the youngest chicken, and 
still with a flavour, and a velvety texture all their own. The 
Frog which is eaten lives chiefly on insects, so that really for 
the table it is considerably cleaner than the pig. There is a 
painful French proverb, " II n'y a fas de grenouille qui ne trouve 
son crapaud," and it has a dreadful double-edged explanation. 
It means " there is no girl so ugly that she cannot find a more 
repulsive husband." We have rhymed this saying in a much 
prettier way, as " Froggy would a wooing go," when " a lily-white 
duck came and gobbled him up ; etc." But ugly, or not. Froggy 
eats well, as we shall all probably acknowledge some day. In 
seeking for Frogs the French peasants often meet with toads, 
which they do not reject, but prepare them in a similar manner. 
As for the rest of the Frog's body (besides the legs), and the skin, 
so sticky, and slimy, what is done therewith ? Why, they make 
turtle-soup of the same ! Yes, the savoury mock turtle over 
which gourmands Hck their lips, has for its chief foundation the 
amphibians which haunt the marshes and fields of Luxembourg, 
in Kitchen Physic we have explicitly told how the flesh of Frogs 
is good against coughs, and such as are hectick. Broths made 
therefrom are restorative, and anti-scorbutic, being prescribed 



FRUITS. 301 

by continental physicians for pulmonary consumption, skin 
affections, and other maladies. Frog oil has been extracted 
by some of our leading chemists, and used externally against 
cancer. The ancient heraldic device of the Parisians was three 
Frogs, (or toads), and their city was Lutetia (the land of mud). 
As becomes a true Hohenzollern, the present Kaiser always 
wears the talismanic ring of his ancestors. It is a quaint old 
ring set with a stone of no intrinsic value, the legend connected 
therewith relating how a toad hopped into the room of the wife 
of Elector John of Brandenberg, and deposited this stone on her 
bed. The toad then mysteriously disappeared, but the pebble 
was zealously treasured among the Hohenzollern Archives. 
The father of Frederick the Great had it mounted in a ring, 
which has ever since then been worn by the Head of the House 
as a mediaeval Mascot. On May 12th, Anno Domini 1827, 
Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C. (General Chairman, and 
Member of the Pickwick Club), communicated a paper (received 
by the Association with feelings of unmingled satisfaction, and 
unqualified approval) entitled, " Speculations on the Sources 
of the Hampstead Ponds, with some observations on the Theory 
of Tittlebats." 



FRUITS. 

" No part of the diet in any season is so healthful, so natural, 
and so agreeable to the stomach as good and well-ripened fruits." 
Thus Sir Wm. Temple taught [About Beautiful Gardens, 1685). 
" I can say it for myself at least, and all my friends, that the 
season of summer fruits is ever the season of health with us, 
which I reckon from the beginning of June to the end of 
September ; and for all sicknesses of the stomach (from which 
most others are judged to proceed) I do not think that any who 
are like me (who am most subject to them) shall complain 
whenever they eat thirty or forty cherries before meals, or the 
like proportion of strawberries, white figs, soft peaches, or grapes 
perfectly ripe. Now whoever will make sure to eat good fruit 
must do it out of a garden of his own ; so that for all things out 
of a garden, either of salads, or fruits, a poor man will eat better 
that has one of his own, than a rich man that has none. The 
best fruit that is bought has no more of the master's care than 
how to raise the greatest gains ; his business is to have as much 



302 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

fruit as he can upon a few trees, whereas the way to have it 
excellent is to have but little on many trees." 

"Health is preserved" {Treatise on Fruit-trees, 1653) "by 
wholesome meats, and drinks, all the yeare from the garden 
of fruit trees. These dishes, and drinks from orchard fruits are 
both alimentall, and physicall ; they cure disease, and preserve 
health. Now the garden of fruit trees is profitable to the body 
for long life, first by the bodily organs, secondly by the affections 
of the minde ; the sweet perfumes of fruits work immediately 
upon the spirits for their refreshing ; such healthfull ayres are 
speciall preservatives to health, and are therefore much to be 
prized." The flavour fruits are chiefly eaten for the sake of their 
agreeable tastes, but they are also of service by reason of the 
vegetable salts of potash which they furnish. The food fruits 
contain a large proportion of special sugar which gives them a 
high nutritive value. This sugar is Isevulose, and better suited to 
delicate, or gouty digestions than dextrose (or cane-sugar). 
It may be utilized even by diabetic invalids without detriment, 
being given in such fruits as apples, green gooseberries, cherries, 
and green currants, before the sugar is fully matured therein. 
Or, this " laevulose " can be obtained as a sugar from certain 
grocers, being a white crystalline article, of which two ounces may 
be safely, and profitably used with the daily food. The value 
of fruits as food does not lie in their nutritious constituents 
nearly so much as in their mineral salts, and in their fruit acids, 
which are of essential benefit to the health, and the blood. These 
acids, as already shown, exist in union with alkalies, and render 
uric acid (gouty, if in excess) soluble. The organic acids of 
fruits (citric, tartaric, malic, etc.) exist mainly in combination with 
alkalies, but in such a manner that no chemistry can form their 
counterpart ; we may give to a patient for scurvy citrate of 
potash as a drug (just such a chemical salt as exists in lemons, 
and oranges) somewhat successfully, but with nothing of results 
as compared with those obtained by giving the said fresh fruits, 
rich in natural citrate of potash. And it is the same with the 
other acids found combined with an alkahne base, such as maUc, 
and tartaric, in grapes, apples, pears, peaches, and apricots. 
Bananas, peaches, and prunes are among the least acid fruits. 
The organic acids combined with their basic earths in fruits 
improve the quality of the blood, whilst acting as anti-scorbutics, 
laxatives, and diuretics, increasing the movements of the bowels, 



FRUITS. 303 

and the flow oi urine. But all persons cannot eat fruit with 
impunity. For instance, a case is on record of a patient who 
could not take a single strawberry without incurring great 
numbness in both legs ; and another of a lady in whom the 
eating of ripe, uncooked fruit would provoke asthma. Skin 
eruptions likewise sometimes ensue after any such indulgence. 
Pepys tells a humorous incident about " our parson, Mr. Mills, 
on Lord's-day, April 17th, 1664, making a remarkable mistake 
when reading the morning service ; instead of saying ' We 
beseech thee to preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth," 
he prayed, ' Preserve to our use our Gracious Queen Katherine.' " 
Oranges, again, prove disturbing to the liver, and biliary 
functions of some persons ; and with others the skin becomes 
troubled by an eruptive outbreak if one or another sort of certain 
fruits is indulged in. 

The various uses of fruits in relieving diseased conditions of 
the body have been summarised as follows : Under the category 
of laxatives we may place oranges, figs, tamarinds, prunes, 
apples, mulberries, dates, nectarines, and plums ; pomegranates, 
cranberries, blackberries, jewberries, raspberries, barberries, 
quinces, pears, wild cherries, and medlars are astringent fruits ; 
grapes, peaches, strawberries, whortleberries, prickly pears, 
black currants, and melon seeds are provocative of urine ; 
gooseberries, red and white currants, pumpkins, and melons 
are cooling fruits ; whilst lemons, limes, and apples, again, are 
sedatives to the stomach. For the modern treatment of chronic 
dysentery the value of certain kinds of fresh fruit has come to 
be recognized in medical practice. Of these fruits may be 
specified apples, strawberries, fresh figs, and tomatoes, all of 
which are seed fruits as distinguished from stone fruits ; it is 
essential that they shall be absolutely sound, and in good 
condition. Dr. Lacy, of Guernsey, has successfully practised 
this treatment for many years, and recently it has come into use 
by other physicians for chronic dysentery, and diarrhoea, with 
most happy results. Professor Sheridan has lately reported 
to the Linnaean Society his conclusions from experiments to 
ascertain the digestive qualities of various fruits, such as the 
fig, pineapple, melon, banana, apple, orange, also the vegetable 
marrow, cucumber, lettuce, dandelion, etc. He has found that 
the enzyme, or ferment, contained in the juices of these plants 
will exercise the property of peptonizing the higher proteids, and 



304 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

is also proteolytic. With the apple, and the orange, their peel 
is particularly sensitive in this respect, whilst the pulp is less so. 
Those fruits which we do not peel before they are eaten should 
certainly be thoroughly washed first, as it is impossible to say 
what dirty places they may have been in since gathered, or 
what unclean hands they may have passed through ; and sundry 
diseases can be conveyed by contaminated fruit. 

Speaking broadly, we eat fruits more for the sake of their 
flavours, and sweetness, than for the actual nourishment which 
they afford. Of the various sorts, apples, apricots, bananas, 
dates, figs, grapes, plums, prunes, raisins, strawberries, and 
raspberries are best supplied with substantial proteid ; whilst the 
fattening, and warming principles are chiefly found in the dried 
sweet fruits containing laevulose, and vegetable gums ; cran- 
berries being the most acid fruit. The mineral constituents 
are chiefly salts of potash, united with the acids (citric, malic, 
and tartaric), which give a pleasant flavour, but do not cause 
sour digestion. When converted by the heat of the blood into 
foods, the acids are burnt ofi into carbon, and the alkaline bases 
remain to circulate. Moreover, as fruits ripen the acids diminish 
to some extent. Cooking renders fruit more digestible, by 
softening the cellulose, and by converting the gums into a gela- 
tinous form; but a great loss is sustained unless the fruit-juice is 
eaten with the fruit (stewed for preference), and then it proves of 
service against constipation, or inactivity of the hver. Uncooked 
fruits should be warmed for easier digestion by weakly persons. 
As to taking cane sugar with fruit, if gouty acids, as urates, 
are already in the blood of those who live freely, or indulge in 
alcohol, and if these acids are ready to cause fermentation 
within the digestive organs, such fruits will start this fer- 
mentation anew, and further gouty salts will accrue ; but if 
by judicious abstinence the blood is set free from urates, and 
they be not provoked again, then cane sugar may be taken 
with impunity as a welcome addition to fresh fruits (though 
their more exquisite flavours will be masked thereby). 

Compotes are fresh fruits stewed with sugar. First 
make a syrup of three and a half cups of sugar, and two and a 
half cups of water, and boil for five minutes from the time of its 
beginning to boil ; when it is boiling drop the fruit in caref ally, 
a few pieces at a time, so that it shall not break ; cook until 
tender, but firm enough to keep their shape ; remove with a 



FRUITS. 305 



skimmer, and arrange daintily on a dish ; theii boil down the 
syrup until thick, and pour it oyer the fruit ; let this cool before 
serving. Apples, pears, peaches, apricots, and oranges may 
all be cooked in this wholesome way. Charles Lamb, in his 
early story (a sweet, homely, pathetic pastoral), of Rosamund 
Gray, draws the moral : " Shall the good housewife take such 
pains in pickling, and preserving her garden fruits, her walnuts, 
her apricots, and quinces : and is there not much spiritual 
housetvifery in treasuring up our mind's best fruits — our heart's 
meditations in its most favoured moments ? " " Eating 
strawberries out of season," said Washineton " invariably 
produces mental depression. I do not believe there would be 
so many suicides (more frequent in the spring than at any other 
time of the year) if people would not eat strawberries until they 
are ripe at home." The use of fruit will materially help to 
diminish a craving for alcohol. Lord Chesterfield, in one of his 
celebrated letters to his son Philip Stanhope, when in Italy 
(1749), wrote : " Fruit when full ripe is very wholesome, but 
then it must be within certain bounds as to quantity, for I have 
known many of my countrymen die of bloody fluxes by indulging 
in too great a quantity of fruit in those countries where from 
the goodness, and the ripeness of it, they thought it could do 
them no harm." Scientists now find that cherries, strawberries, 
and some other fruits tend to lessen the quantity of uric acid 
in gouty subjects by the action of their quinic acid, or " China 
saure." 

Fruit soups are to be commended as agreeable, and useful ; 
they can be made by boiling fresh, or dried fruits in water (with 
or without the addition of sugar, lemon-peel, etc.), and then freeing 
them from the solid residue by pressing, and straining ofi. These 
soups are pleasant to some persons as drinks, being sustaining, 
because they wiU contain quite a small amount of albuminates, 
rather more carbohydrates, and certain of the organic acids. 
Apples stewed with raisins make an excellent dish for overcoming 
constipation : Pare, core, and cut into quarters a dozen, or more, 
of medium-sized apples ; clean thoroughly as many raisins of 
good quality as equal in weight one-fourth of the apples employed, 
and pour over these raisins one quart of boiUng water ; then 
let them steep until well swollen ; stone them, and add the 
apples, proceeding to cook them until tender. Some sugar to 
sweeten may be added if desired, although scarcely needed 

20 



306 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

unless the apples are very tart. Dried apples soaked overnight 
may be stewed with raisins in the same way for about forty 
minutes. As already noted (page 51), apples from which the 
juices have been artificially evaporated, and then used in- 
dependently, are sometimes sold in the shops as dried apple- 
rings, or snitz. These " snitz " are bleached with sulphur to 
prevent them from turning brown. 

An old recipe of 1754 by the Duke of Bolton's chef ordered : 
" For making blackcaps, take a dozen good pippins, cut each 
of them into halves, and remove the cores ; then place them on 
a right mazarine dish with their skins on, the cut sides down- 
wards ; put to them a very Uttle water, and scrape on them 
some loaf sugar ; put them in a hot oven till the skins are burnt 
black, and your apples tender.; serve them on plates, strewed 
over with sugar.'' To make a simple apple-water, as an excellent 
fever-drink, " slice up thinly three or four good apples, without 
peeling them ; boil these in a clean saucepan with a quart of 
water, and a Uttle sugar, until the slices of apple are soft ; the 
apple-water must then be strained through a piece of clean 
muslin into a jug, where it should be left until cold. For apple- 
jelly, " take some cooking apples, and cut them in quarters, 
but without paring, or coring them ; put them to boil, one 
quart of water to every pound of fruit ; when they are boiled 
to a pulp, strain through a sieve, or bag ; then to every pint of 
juice put one pound of sugar, and boil till it jellies, stirring all 
the time." 

Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, when leaving Baden 
Baden, after a sojourn there in 1876, brought with her 
a noted Apple-cake, and the recipe for making it, " Mffd 
kucJien mit Rohm Giiss." The kitchen there boasted an excellent 
cook named Marie, and it was she who first made this capital 
cake for our late Queen. Marie has since then gone over to the 
great majority, but her excellent Apple-cake hves on. " Line 
a round baking-sheet which has been buttered, with a paste 
(not made too thick) composed with one pound of sifted flour, 
half a pound of fresh butter, six hard-boiled yolks of eggs (having 
passed the same through a fine wire sieve), six raw yolks of eggs, 
half a pound of castor sugar, some ground cinnamon, a little 
'ground cloves, and a few tablespoonfuls of cream ; mix thoroughly 
and roll out thinly ; the paste should be of the colour of cocoa. 
In lining the baking-sheet, bring the pastry slightly above the 



FRUITS. 307 

edge. Wash, and pick equal quantities of currants, and sultanas ; 
peel some Wellington apples, and cut them into quarters, which, 
are to be cut again into the thinnest possible slices, so as to well 
cover the base of the paste with these slices of apples, and with 
the currants, and sultanas. Now place three-quarters of a 
pound of castor sugar in a basin, and work well into this nine 
yolks of eggs, and whip the whites. Mb: in lightly half a pound 
of finely-sifted flour, adding a little ground cinnamon, putting 
in the whipped whites last. Fill up the paste containing the 
apples, currants, and sultanas with this mixture, and bake in a 
moderate oven, being very careful that the bottom paste is 
well cooked. When the cake is done, sprinkle it over with fine 
cinnamon-sugar, cut it out in pieces, and serve cold in a napkin." 
Pears are a colder fruit than Apples, having an astringent 
quality, with an earthy substance in their composition. Their 
cellular tissue contains minute stony concretions which make 
the fruit in most of its varieties bite short, and crisp. Pears 
owe their special taste to an amylacetate ; they also contain 
maUc acid, pectose, gum, sugar, albumin, mineral matter, 
cellulose, and water. When peeled they constipate, but with 
their skins on they are somewhat laxative. Lemery told about 
Pears (1675) : " They create an appetite, and do fortify the 
stomach ; those that be of a sour and harsh taste are more 
binding than the others, and fitter to stop a looseness." Perry is 
a fermented drink brewed from the juice of Pears ; it is described 
by Gerarde as " a wine made of the juice of Pears, called in 
English, Perry, which purgeth those that are not accustomed 
to take thereof, especially when it is new. Notwithstanding, 
it is a wholesome drink (being taken in small quantities) as wine ; 
it comforteth, and warmeth the stomacke, and caiiseth good 
digestion." The Barland Pear, which was chiefly cultivated 
in the seventeenth century, stUl retains its health, and vigour; 
the identical trees in Herefordshire which then supplied excellent 
liquor, continuing to do so in this, the twentieth century. 
During Henry the Eighth's reign a "Warden" Pear ("wearden," 
because long-keeping) was commonly grown in orchards. 
Evelyn, in his Pomona, says : " Pears are nourishing, especially 
the baked Wardens, edulcorated with sugar, and are exceed- 
ingly restorative in consumptions ; the Perry being a great 
cordial." The chemical gout of Pears can be arti6cially imitated 
in the laboratory, and an essence made thus is used for flavouring 



308 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Pear-drops, and other sweetmeats ; the said acetate- amyl 
essence being got as an ether from vinegar, and potato oil. 
Perry owns about 1 per cent of alcohol over cider, and a 
slightly larger proportion of malic acid, so that it is some- 
what more stimulating, and better calculated to produce the 
healthful effects of vegetable acids in the body. Pears were 
deemed by the Eomans an antidote to poisonous fungi ; and 
for this reason (which subsequent experience has confirmed) 
Perry is still reckoned the best thing to be taken after partaking 
freely of mushrooms. A time-worn maxim directs that after 
eating Pears wine must be drunk as a corrective, or else mischief 
may ensue : " Afres le ■poire ou le vin, ou le fretre." When 
Jersey Pears, or other such superior fruit, are gathered in the 
autumn, being fully grown, they are then woody, and acid, and 
unfit for food; but by being stored for one, two, or three months 
they become lusciously tender, and sweet ; the woody fibre is 
converted by fermentation into sugar (as happens with ensilage), 
and the harsh acids are neutralized, the air having been excluded 
by the thick rind, whilst the fibre is closely packed. A crop of 
small Pears grown in Switzerland, which ripen in September, 
is made into the wholesome " Birnen-bonig," as found on every 
hotel breakfast table. " Pear puddings " were fashioned in 
Shakespeare's day, but not containing any Pears ; they consisted 
of cold chicken chopped up with sugar, currants,, and spices, 
being moulded mto shapes like Pears. The statesman Hume, 
when at St. Stephens, never purchased food from the 
kitchen there, but took thither with him a pocketful of Pears 
as refreshment. The Pear tree loves a sunny house-front, 
some sweet old-fashioned country mansion with ancient gables, 
where the fruit may be reached through the lattice. 

The remedial constituent principles of other fruits available 
for curative purposes may be stated in brief thus : Much acid 
(citric, and malic) which is astringent, and helpful against 
sluggishness of the liver, as in the Cranberry, belonging to the 
Bilberry tribe. This is a small fruit, brilliantly red in colour 
when ripe ; it makes a delightful jam, with a keen flavour, 
somewhat bitter, and useful as a tonic. There is likewise an 
aromatic acid in the Medlar (Mesfilus germanica) whilst passing 
into the early stages of decay ; but this fruit when first gathered 
is hard, harsh, and uneatable. In Shakespeare's As you like it 
occurs the passage, " You'll be rotten ere you be half ripe ; 



FRUITS. 309 

and that's the right virtue of the Medlar." " This fruit," says 
Culpeper, " is old Saturn's, and very retentive." The small 
stones found within the Medlar, when dried, and powdered, 
will help to dissolve gravel in the kidneys, or bladder. Again, 
the Currants {Ribes), black, red, and white., by their fresh juices 
exercise salutary actions ; these juices are anti-putrescent, 
containing citric, and malic acids. Both red, and white Currants 
give help in most forms of obstinate visceral obstruction, and 
they correct impurities in the blood. The Black Currant, by 
its viscid, sweet, aromatic juice (thickened over the fire), makes 
a " robb " of capital use for relieving a sore throat, or quinsy. 
This old-fashioned " robb," or " rob," is an inspissated fruit 
juice (of ripe fruit) mixed with honey, or sugar, to the consistence 
of a conserve, and is to be preferred before the berries themselves. 
White Currants are the most simple in kind, and the Red are 
a step in advance. In northern Counties the Red Currant 
is known as Wineberry, or Garnetberry, from its rich ruddy 
colour, and transparency. When made into a jelly with sugar 
(aided by the chemical " pectin " of the fruit) the juice of Red 
Currants acts as an anti-putrescent, being therefore taken at 
table with venison, or hare, and other " high " meats. The 
sweetened juice is a favourite drink in Paris, being preferred 
there to Orgeat (a syrup of almonds). Both the Red and the 
Black Currants afEord a useful home-made wine. "'Ex eo 
oftimum vinum fieri potest, non deterius vinis vetioribus viteis," 
wrote Haller in 1750. The White Currants yield a wine which 
is still superior, and which becomes improved by keeping, even 
for twenty years. Dr. Thornton says : "I have used old wine 
of White Currants for calculous afEections, and it has surpassed 
all expectation." The Black Currant is often named by our 
peasantry " Quinsyberry " ; its jelly (for a sore throat) should 
not be made with too much sugar, else the medicinal virtues 
will be impaired. 

From the Blackthorn of our hedgerows is gathered in the 
autumn an oval blue-black fruit,, the Sloe, harsh, and sour of 
taste, but presently mellowed, and covered with a fine purple 
bloom. The juice of this fruit whilst unripe is highly astringent, 
and is a popular remedy for stopping a flow of blood from the 
nose. The ripe fruit yields a dark ruby juice which, when bottled 
with sugar, and kept for some time, is an excellent astringent 
cordial. Our cultivated Plums are descendants .of the Sloe, 



310 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

being most varied in form, and character. When ripe they are 
coohng, and slightly laxative, especially the French fruit, which 
is dried, and bottled for dessert. The garden fruit contains less 
sugar than cherries, but a large quantity of gelatinizing pectose. 
Unripe Plums will provoke severe diarrhoea. 

From France has come the Green Gage, having been brought 
to England from the Moiiastery of La Grande Chartreuse about 
the middle of the eighteenth century by the Reverend John 
Gage, of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, and hence was derived its 
name. Culpeper said : " AU Plumbs are under Venus, and are 
like women — some better, some worse." Mr. Walter Shandy, 
the father of Tristram (Sterne), " when having to take his wife 
to London for her lying-in, was sadly vexed, more by the 
provoking time of the year than by everything else, this being 
towards the end of September, when his wall-fruit, and Green 
Gages especially, (in which he was very curious), were just ready 
for pulling ! Had he been whistled up to London in any other 
month of the whole year, he should not have said three words 
about it." There are also the Golden Gage, and the Transparent 
Gage, each of these being sweet, luscious, and preventive of 
gout by their fruit acids, which become alkaline presently in the 
blood. It should have been stated above that Eed Currant 
jelly, being antiseptic, will, if applied externally immediately 
after a burn, ease the pain, and prevent inflammation, or the 
formation of bhsters. 

Again, the Gooseberry (RiAes grossularia) contains citric acid, 
pectose, sugar, and mineral matters ; the pectose imder heat 
making a capital jelly of this fruit. The juice was said of old 
to " cure all inflammations " ; it is sub-acid when the Goose- 
berries are green, and is corrective of putrescent foods, such as 
mackerel, or goose. The French name for Gooseberry sauce is 
" li I'Anglaise ; aux groseilles h Maquereux." From the Red 
Gooseberry may be prepared an excellent light jelly, which is 
of service to sedentary, plethoric, and bilious subjects. The 
Yellow Gooseberry is richer, and more vinous of taste, suiting 
admirably for Gooseberry wine. " Gooseberry fool " consists 
of the unripe green fruit fovli (crushed, or beaten up), with 
cream, or milk. In Devon the rustics call Gooseberries 
" Deberries," and in Sussex they are familiarly known as 
" Goosegogs." The Scotch name this fruit when ripe " Honey- 
blobs." In -Ramsay's Scottish Life and Character, we read : 



FRUITS. 311 

" He saw out of the coach window a woman selling the sweet 
Yellow Gooseberries, and he cried, ' Gie me a haporth o' Honey- 
blobs.' " 

Wild Sloes yield, if made into Sloe-gin, certain soluble phos- 
phates which are of specific benefit for bloodlessness, and brain- 
fag. This is a celebrated Devonshire liqueur prepared from the 
Blackthorn, and Juniper fruits, and of Value for its restorative, 
sustaining principles. 

Some reference must be made to other fruits useful for curative 
purposes by reason of their medicinal constituents — the Mulberry, 
Prune, Peach, Quince, Raspberry, and Tamarind. 

Mulberries (Morus nigra) are grown commonly in the orchard, 
or paddock, or gardens, where this well-known, rich, syrupy 
fruit ripens in September. The juice, boiled with sugar, is 
admirable for curing sore throats, especially of the putrid sort, 
when used in gargles ; also for thrush in the mouth ; and the 
ripe fruit is gently laxative. Mulberries are particularly whole- 
some for gouty, or rheumatic persons, because their sweet juice 
does not undergo acetous fermentation in the stomach. This 
juice contains malic, and citric acids, with glucose, pectin, and 
gum. In France Mulberries are served at the beginning of a 
meal. The fruit, with its abundant luscious juice, of regal hue, 
is used in Devonshire for mixing with cider during fermentation, 
giving to the drink a pleasant taste, and a deep red colour. 
Mulberries are remarkable for their large quantity of fruit sugar, 
being excelled in this respect only by the fig, the grape, and the 
cherry. In the City of Naples, during the summer, fruit-sellers 
come in betimes in the morning from the suburbs. The red 
Mulberries are brought first, very early, with a layer of snow 
upon them to keep them fresh, and cool ; they are carried in 
by women, and are eaten at the beginning of breakfast (snow 
and fruit together). Later in the day white Mulberries are 
brought in by boys. The bargains are struck by gestures, in 
that wonderfully expressive language of signs which can replace 
speech altogether, and which invariably accompanies it, in 
rapid pantomime, hands, head, eyes, and every part of the body 
emphasizing the spoken words ; thus has it been from early 
Roman days. When perfectly ripe, Mulberries somewhat relax 
the belly, but when unripe (particularly if dried) they will " bind 
exceedingly, and are therefore given to such as have lasks, and 
fluxes." A pleasant home-made wine can be brewed from ripe 



312 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Mulberries, " Alice " (in Through the Looking Glass) " found 
herself siaging the old catch of children as they dance round, 
hand-in-hand, in a circle, ' Here we go round the Mulberry bush,' 
which certainly was funny." 

The Bilberry, Whortleberry, Trackleberry, Blackheart, or 
Whinberry, grows abundantly in our heathy, and mountainous 
districts, as a small, branched shrub bearing globular wax-like 
flowers, and black berries, which are covered when quite fresh 
with a grey bloom. The Bilberry {Vaccinium myrtiUus) is a 
capital astringent, and from it can be made a useful domestic 
cordial as such. If some good brandy be poured over two 
handfuls of the bruised fruit in a bottle, this will form an extract 
which wiU continually improve by being kept. Obstinate 
diarrhoea may be remedied by giving doses of a tablespoonful 
of such extract, with a wineglassful of warm water, every 
two hours whilst needed, even for severe dysenteric diarrhoea. 
The berries contain chemically much tannin. An extract of 
Bilberries, when brushed on skin surfaces afiected by eczema, 
and other sijch diseased conditions, being afterwards covered 
over with cotton-wool, will signally relieve. Bilberry pudding 
is one of the things to be commended for consumptive, or 
scrofulous patients. Together with the Bilberries, some of the 
moorlgiud air from whence they come seems to be also swallowed ; 
and perhaps reminiscences arise of the sweet fresh breeze, and 
the short, pleasant grass of the Bilberry hills, and then it's 
" Oh, who would o'er the downs so free ? " Why, the con- 
sumptive, and deHcate people, to be sure ! " Make a crust as 
light as you can ; grease a basin, and line it with the crust ; half 
fiU it -vyith well- picked Bilberries ; strew two tablespoonfuls of 
sugar over them, and continue to fill in fruit until the basin is 
well filled up, and heaped ; next put on the crust, flour a cloth, 
tie it over, and boil for two hours." The Irish call them 
" Frawms." Lowell, in Fireside Travels, tells that the greater 
part of what is now Cambridge Port, U.S.A., was at one time 
a " Huckleberry pasture." As already notified, against the 
intestinal baciUi of typhoid fever the fruit of the Bilberry shrub 
affords a specific remedy, because the small, sweet, blackish, 
purple berries are highly antifermentative, freeing the stools from 
putridity, and the bowels from flatulence. It has been shown 
experimentally that the typhoid bacillus becomes destroyed 
by Bilberry juice, and prevented from recurrent growth. 



FRUITS. 313 

of which there is otherwise a risk, leading to a relapse. This 
juice gives relief against intestinal colic, besides being admirable 
when applied to a sore tongue, as well as for burns. It contains 
fruit sugar, malic acid, limonic acid, a pigment, tannin, and 
pectins. The typhoid bacillus becomes killed within twelve 
hours. 

Certain fruits are largely imported from countries where they 
abound more plentifully than with ourselves, as canned, or 
tinned fruits, excellent in quality when preserved air-tight. 
However, if a can of apricots, cherries, peaches, or other fruit 
be opened, seeing that each of these several fruits is acidulous, 
then, unless the contents are immediately turned out upon an 
earthenware plate, or into a dish made of earthenware, or glass, 
the action of the acid combining with the surrounding air will 
begin to engender a deadly metallic poison. If the fruit is 
allowed to stand for some time in the opened tin, or metal can, 
then the work of poison goes on. Fresh fruits in hermetically- 
sealed cans, if properly prepared, and kept air-tight, do not 
generate any poison. For a similar reason lemonade, or other 
extemporized sustaining drinks which are acidulous, should never 
be made in a tin bucket, nor allowed to stand in a vessel of tin. 

Jams, and Preserves, consist of fruits conserved in a strong 
solution of sugar. The fruit acids, aided by the high temperature 
employed in the course of preparation, bring about the conversion 
of a considerable part of the cane sugar into what is termed 
the " invert " form, i.e., a mixture of dextrin, and Isevulose, 
such as may be made by boihng cane sugar with acids. " Almost 
half the weight of any jam is made up of sugar in one form or 
another." Few persons reahze now-a-days how many of the 
good old-fashioned preserves were had recourse to formerly in 
times of sickness. Black Currant jam, for instance, was almost 
a specific, and in those days every housewife kept by her a store 
thereof for needs of illness. Elder flowers, again, were used for 
making a drink invaluable for colds, and bronchial troubles. 
In short, with the weU-stocked herb garden the variety of dainty 
remedies which could be produced was almost infinite. Said 
the White Queen to Alice (in Through the Looking Glass), " I'll 
take you with pleasure as my lady's-maid : twopence a week, 
and jam every other day." Alice rephed, " I don't care for 
jam : I don't want any to-day, at any rate." " You couldn't 
have 'it if you did want it," said the Queen ; " the rule is jam 



314 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

to-morrow, and jam yesterday, but never jam to-day." " It 
must come to jam to-day," Alice objected. " No, it can't," 
said the Queen ; " it's jam every other day ; to-day isn't any 
other day, you know." 

GAME. 

Speaking collectively, " Game " signifies creatures taken in 
the chase ; with us it includes Venison (of the Deer), Grouse, 
Hare, Partridge, Pheasant, Snipe, and Woodcock. The flesh 
of such " game " is finer in texture than that of butcher's meat, 
and does not so soon become putrid. When a domestic animal 
is placed under the same conditions as a wild one its flesh in the 
course of time assumes the closer texture, and other character- 
istics of game, as seen by the instance ef Welsh Mountain mutton. 
If sent to table shortly after being killed these creatures of the 
chase are tough, and insipid ; but when game is allowed to hang 
for some time in a whole condition there takes place the gradual 
creation of a chemical acid by fermentation in the flesh, which 
becomes strongly acid ; also the muscular tissues grow tender, and 
after some time traces of hydrogen sulphides are liberated. The 
characteristic flavours of the game are in direct proportion to 
the amount of these sulphides, or mercaptans, thus set free, but 
not to putrefactive compounds. Such birds as Partridge, 
Plover, Snipe, Pheasant, Woodcock, and the like are particularly 
appropriate food for the sick, partly as dainties, but more 
especially by reason of the nutrient properties which they 
contain. They are remarkably rich in mineral salts, especially 
the phosphates, which are so much needed when the system has 
become exhausted by disease. Birds which feed mainly on 
grains, such as the Partridge, and the Pheasant, will keep a long 
while in cold weather ; but birds with dark flesh, living chiefly 
on animal food, quickly undergo decay. Game of white meat 
should be done well in cooking ; that with dark flesh should 
be rare. The dangerous microbes which are at first associated 
with decomposition of game, are presently succeeded by other 
microbes which are harmless. Therefore if game be eaten at its 
preliminary stage of putrefaction it may produce serious iH effects ; 
whilst these do not ensue after partaking of game kept longer until 
tender, and succulent. According to Julius Csesar (Scaliger), the 
Partridge came originally from Mount Olympus, and has always 



GAME. 315 

preserved the proud consciousness of his divine origin. Par 
excellence the grey English Partridge is the best for eating, there 
being also a red-legged variety which has culinary excellence. 
" The young birds that are taken even as they be readie to fly, 
and are afterwards fattened, prove the best, for they make a pure, 
and excellent nourishment ; they are only hurtful to countrymen, 
because they breed in them the asthmatick passion, which is a 
short, and painful fetching of breath : by reason whereof these 
will not be able to undergoe their usuall labours. Wherefore 
when they shaU chance to meet with a covie of young partridges, 
they were much better to bestow them upon such for whom they 
are convenient, than to adventure (notwithstanding their strong 
stomackes) the eating of them, seeing that there is in their flesh 
such a hidden and perilous antipathic unto their bodies." Says 
Mr. George Saintsbury, in Fur and Feather Series, " my private 
conviction is that the best thing you can do with a Partridge, 
provided he be an honest grey Partridge of British nationality 
(and the only one which a true gourmand would ever admit to his 
table), is to roast him in front of the fire, and serve him hot ; 
furthermore to eat what is left cold of him next morning for 
breakfast, with no other condiment but salt, and a little cayenne 
pepper. For a plain roast the English grey Partridge, young, 
and plump, has no rival, and can be put to no better use than 
roasted plain, being served with such accompaniments as you 
may please of bread sauce, brown bread crumbs, or fried potatoes." 
Partridge with celery sauce is helpful in cookery for invalids ; 
again. Partridge pudding is a capital dish, thoroughly English ; 
it is thought to have been invented by the South Saxons, having 
its origin in the region of Ashdown Forest. " Phick, draw, and 
singe a brace of well-hung partridges. Cut them into neat joints, 
and if they are not very young take off the skin first." Line a 
quart pudding basin with a good suet crust, half an inch thick, 
and in trimming it off leave an inch above the edge. Lay a thin 
slice of rump steak at the bottom of the pudding, then put in the 
pieces of partridge : season with pepper and salt ; and pour over 
them a quarter of a pint of good brown gravy. EoU out the cover, 
lay it on the pudding, moisten the edge, and press over it the inch 
that was left round the rim. Wring a pudding-cloth out of 
hot water, flour it well and tie it securely over the pudding, then 
plunge this into boiling water and keep it fast boiling all the time 
it is on the fire. As soon as it is taken off, cut a small round out of 



316 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

tte top to let the steam escape. Like all other meat puddings it is 
much better if served in the dish in which it has been cooked. 
A few fresh mushrooms will (as some think) improve the pudding. 
G-ame, when " high " (also fish), will emit if in a dark cellar 
luminous phosphorescence, acting on which fact an Austrian 
scientist has constructed a lamp consisting of luminous bacilli, 
or microbes, in gelatine. 

" When, they tell me, food decays. 
It emits quite dazzling rays. 
And a lobster in your room 
If it's ripe, dispels the gloom. 

" Legs of mutton somewhat high. 
Shine like diamonds in the sky. 
Further than a. lamp, it seems, 
Gorgonzola sheds its beams. 

" Gas has had its little day. 
Microbe light has come to stay. 
Shortly we shall see each street 
Lit by tins of potted meat." 

The Esquimaux bury the flesh of animals killed for food until 
it is putrid (so it is said, but would not the earth deodorise, and 
keep it sweet ?) ; and the Zulus, whose synonym for heaven is, 
according to Dr. Colenso, " Maggot's meat," follow suit. " Of 
course," adds Dr. K. Chambers, " rather than die of starvation, 
or be reduced to the straits Buffered by King Hezekiah's army, 
one would acquire such a habit, and invent a sauce to make it 
tolerable : but it is not worth while to do this in civilised society." 

A few words may well be said here with regard to the food 
preservatives of the present day, which are used (in some cases 
much to the detriment of the consumer's health), for preventing 
game, fish, meat, milk, and other perishable foods from betraying 
staleness, or putridity, when kept too long on hand, because still 
unsold whilst yet wholesome, and proper for eating. It should 
be generally known that most of these preservatives are poisonous 
if employed on provisions for the kitchen to any extent. And 
certainly it is high time that some supervision of our meats, and 
drinks, in this respect should be adequately entrusted to the 
competent cook, or the doctor, for the public safety and pro- 
tection ; because of a fully enlightened knowledge on their parts of 
the risks incurred, and the injuries inflicted by such mischievous 
mal-practices, concerning the dangerous results of which the 
legislature is at length becoming actively cognisant. In former 



GAME. 317 

times it was the custom, we are told, about Italy and Venice to 
employ a scalco, who had the honour and life of his master in 
his hands ; his life, because it was then not uncommon to put 
poison into the food of enemies in politics, or rivals in love : so 
that the cook held in those days a most important, and vital 
position, when great persons lived in constant fear of being done 
to death by poisoned meals. Equally important is it now-a-days 
that an authorised inspection of perishable food-commodities 
shall be the duty of competent disinterested officials, whenever 
they may think proper, for the welfare, and safety of a com- 
munity. 

For boiled partridge, or pigeon, " Clean, and season the bird : 
enclose it in a pufi paste, and boil. Serve in its own gravy, 
supplemented by the liver rubbed up with some stock : and do 
not forget the bread-sauce. To make this latter, take the 
crumbs of a French roll, of water half a pint, black pepper six to 
eight corns, a small piece of onion, and salt to taste. Boil all 
smooth, then add a piece of butter about as big as a walnut, and 
mix for use. It is good hot with hot birds, cold with cold birds, 
and is an excellent food for the sick." Likewise, roast partridge, 
with sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), is declared by some to be 
the perfection of game food. 

Our English Partridge was pronounced in the new London 
Dispensatory, " Excellent food for a weak stomach : its liver 
dried and drunk helps the epilepsie ; its marrow and brain cure 
the jaundice ; its gall is one of the most eminent things for defects 
of the eyes in the world, helping suffusions, and dimness of sight ; 
its broth is of use against the French venereal disease." 

The Pheasant, originally from the banks of the Grecian river 
Phasis, is nowhere met with in a wild state, but requires the 
continued assistance of man for its preservation, and breeding. 
This bird has the faculty, when properly matured for cooking, 
or, as the French say, when properly mortified, of proving tender, 
short, and easily digested : for which reasons it is liked by aged, 
and delicate persons. 

" The pheasant," tells Brillat Savarin, " is a riddle of which 
the solution is revealed only to adepts ! Every substance has 
its apogee of excellence, which the pheasant attains only when 
it begins to decompose. This state it does not reach in less than 
three days after its death, requiring sometimes several more. 
If eaten within three days it has no distinguishing flavour. Just 



318 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

when it begins to decompose, the aroma develops, and is the 
result of an oil which needs a little fermentation to bring out its 
perfume, just as the oil of cofiee is obtained only by roasting. 
The bird should not be plucked till such a moment, and then larded 
carefully with the freshest and firmest bacon. When the proper 
time for this has arrived it will be indicated by a slight odour, 
and by a change of colour in the breast of the bird. It is a 
matter of importance not to pluck the pheasant too soon. Ex- 
perience has shown that birds kept in the feather are much more 
highly flavoured than those which have been plucked, and then 
hung for some time ; whether it be that contact of the flesh with 
the air neutralises some portion of the aroma, or that a part of 
the juices which nourish the feathers becomes absorbed by the 
flesh. When the bird has been duly prepared it must be properly 
stufied. Then cut a slice of bread four inches longer than the 
pheasant, and toast it. Next take the liver and entrails, grind 
them up with two big truffles, in anchovy, with a little chopped 
bacon, and a suitably-sized piece of good fresh butter. Spread 
this equally on the toast, and place the pheasant in the middle. 
When it is sufiiciently cooked serve it on the toast, surrounding 
it there with bitter oranges ; and be tranquil as to the result. 
These highly -flavoured dishes should be accompanied preferably 
with a flrst-class Burgundy." " A pheasant prepared after the 
above fashion is worthy of being set before angels, if they are 
still travelling about the earth as in the time of Lot." " For 
sweetnesse and pleasantnesse of taste the pheasant excelleth 
all other fowle : verily for goodness, and pleasantnesse of flesh 
it may of all sylvestriall fowle well challenge the first place at 
tables, for it giveth a most perfect and temperate nourishment 
to them that be healthy. And to the weak, sickly, or that be 
upon a recovery unto health, there is not so profitable a flesh, 
for it is very delightsome to a weak stomache ; and quickly by 
reason of the pure and restorative nourishment which it giveth 
it repaireth weake, and feeble strengths." Thus declared 
" Tobias Venner (1620), doctor of physicke, at Bathe in the Spring 
and Fall ; and at other times in the Burrough of North Petherton, 
neare to the ancient hauen towne of Bridgwater in Somerset." 
Sydney Smith (1836) wrote : " If there is a pure and elevated 
pleasure in this world, it is that of roast pheasant, and bread 
sauce ; but, " Mangi trop frais (writes M. Sausanne), sa chair 
■est fMe, et mains ddicat que celle du fovlet." There was a certain 



GAME. 319 

Duke of Rutland, who would never allow a Leicester partridge 
to be dressed for his table, since, as he said, " partridges are 
worth nothing in a grass district." But the same may be told 
much more emphatically about pheasants : bred between the 
maggots, and the buckwheat, these birds may run to bulk, but 
they lose in flavour, and wholesomeness of flesh. " Per contra," 
pheasants from the Welsh woods, and their natural succulent 
shrubberies, are unimpeachable. The merits of a well roasted 
pheasant with browned bread crumbs, and potato chips, or 
surrounded with bitter oranges, are to be enthusiastically extolled. 
Again, a plump, young hen pheasant boiled with unbroken skin, 
and bedded on celery, whilst served with celery sauce, contain- 
ing the faintest dash of lemon, is a "dish for the gods." " But 
I'll have no pheasant, cock, or hen," exclaims the shepherd, in 
the Winter's Tale. According to Lemery (1674), " the use of 
the pheasant (which is a wholesome bird) prevails against 
epilepsies and convulsions." French cooks make the bodies of 
pheasants into pies, whilst the plumage is profitably sold. 

Game should not be too fat, because in cooking, the oily, yellow, 
fatty tissues become rank ; being less digestible than other 
animal fats, they leave a reproachful flavour for some time after 
the meal through retarded digestion. " An old fowl, likewise," 
says Dr. Chambers, " has a rank taste, as of a close hen house, 
because of the absorption into its flesh of the oil furnished by 
nature to lubricate the feathers." 

Whilst shooting at Sandringham in November, 1902, as our 
King's favoured guest, the Kaiser killed a golden pheasant, and 
asked that it might be cooked for his own special eating. The 
Chinese are said to make a great use of pheasants' eggs as a 
cosmetic to give their hair lustre and brilliancy. " Describe 
the adventures of the Duke of Monmouth after the Battle of 
Sedgemoor," was a question propounded to a class under ex- 
amination ; when a brilliant youngster replied, " He changed 
his clothes with a pheasant, and was found dead in the gutter." 
A French saying (translated) runs that " In October de English- 
man do shoot de pheasant ; in November he do shoot himself." 
Pheasants brains were among the ingredients of the dish which 
Vitellius named the " Shield of Minerva " in old Roman days. 

Grouse (Lagofus Scoticus), from the Scotch moors, have flesh 
of a grey colour, with an excellent aromatic flavour ; but they 
require to be drawn as soon as killed, or they would soon become 



320 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

tainted ; they should be hung long to make them tender, and 
then always roasted. Sauerkraut (the pickled cabbage) goes 
well with them, if stewed with butter, and a little wine, in 
standard broth. " I think," said a wise and gracious hostess 
" Grouse is a dinner." As an accompaniment nothing can 
equal French beans, which nature supplies precisely at the right 
time. The liver of grouse when cooked separately, pounded 
with butter, salt, and cayenne pepper, is, if spread upon toast, to 
be much commended. Soyer liked to eat grouse absolutely by 
themselves, with nothing but a crust of bread. Watercress 
suits for an adjunct, as with most roasted birds. From twenty 
to thirty minutes should be the time allowed for roasting a 
young grouse : but there should be nothing red, or soignant 
about the bird when carved ; if possible it should be taken from 
the fire promptly after the last likelihood of such a trace has 
disappeared. 

As commendable aids to the digestion of all game, a prune 
salad, and freshly expressed orange juice, are of service to the 
invalid ; likewise a sauce made with equal parts of orange and 
lemon juice, with brown sugar added thereto in sufficient quan- 
tity. Sir Henry Thoinpson has told of a wild duck roasted and 
served without sauce. The bird was served over a spirit lamp, 
and after some long slices had been carved from the breast, the 
remains of the bird were put into a nickel-silvered press, when 
a few turns of the lever brought forth " a quantity of hot, rich, 
red juice to make a most exquisite sauce." 

The Hare {Lefus), as to its medicinal uses in whole, or parts, 
has been considered somewhat fully in Kitchen Physic. Here 
we may sum up its character generally on a consensus of evidence 
as " melancholy meat," bad for persons disposed to hypochon- 
dria, and sluggish liver. The Egpytians expressed a melancholy 
man by a hare sitting in her form. Lucretius attributed sadness 
to the influence of hares even amid nature's brightest surround- 
ings. 

" Medio de fonte leporum 
Siirgit amari aliquid quod in ipsis floribus angat." 

The poet Cowper (1780) whose lamentable fits of depression 
are on literary record, chose pet hares. Puss, Tiny, and Bess, 
wherewith to try and divert his mind. 

" Never give wav to melancholy," taught Sydney Smith, 
" resist it steadily, for the habit will encroach. I once gave a 



GAME. 321 



lady two and twenty recipes against melancholy : One was a 
briglit fire ; another to remember all the pleasant things said of 
and to her ; another to keep a box of sugar-plums on the chimney 
piece, and a kettle simmering on the hob. I thought this mere 
trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true 
it is that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better 
than higher and more exalted objects." 

The flesh of a hare is such dry food that cooks have a saying, 
" A hare with twelve pennyworth of sauce is worth only a shilling." 
Matthiolus prescribed hare's liver dried, and reduced to powder, 
as a specific for biliary derangements ; this was anticipating 
the advanced scientific treatment now recognized of such dis- 
orders by an animal extract from the same healthy organ (of 
sheep, calf, etc.), as that at fault in the human subject. The 
iodine value, and drying property of hares' fat are remarkable, 
as showing the presence therein of an unsaturated acid. The 
hare was not eaten by the ancient Britons. Hippocrates for- 
bade its use because thickening the blood, and causing wakeful- 
ness. None the less hare soup is a favourite English dish having 
some of the blood included. The proverbial phrase " first catch 
your hare " (before proceeding to cook it), was attributed to 
Mrs. Grlasse in Dr. Johnson's time, this having actually been a 
misprint in her Cookery book, for " first case (or, skin) your hare." 
The aphorism signifies that before disposing of a thing one should 
first make sure of possessing it. In Shakespeare's time there 
were several superstitions about the hare ; its shape, and aspect 
were thought to be assumed frequently by witches ; the blood 
was reputed to cure ringworm, a bone of the hind leg prevented 
cramp, the skin burnt to powder stanched blood, and the animal 
was believed to have taught men the medicinal virtues of the 
succory plant. 

Under the Levitical law propounded by Moses the hare was 
prohibited as food for the Israelites because " he cheweth the 
cud, but divideth not the hoof, therefore he is unclean unto 
you." 

Charles Lamb devoutly favoured roasted hare as delicious 
food. ■' Pheasants," said he, " are poor fowls dressed in fine 
feathers ! but a hare I roasted hard and brown, with gravy and 
melted butter ! " Old Mr. Chambers, the sensible clergyman 
in Warwickshire, used to allow a pound of Epping to every hare. 
Perhaps that was overdoing it ! But in spite of the note of 

21 



322 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



Philomel who reiterates every Spring her cuckoo cry of Jug- 
jug- jug, Elia pronounces that a hare to be truly palated must 
be roasted ; jugging sophisticates her, whilst in our way it eats 
so " crips," as Mrs. Minikin, the cook, says. Nash tells in his 
Spring song for that season : — 

" Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing. 
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo." 

" The ancients must have loved hares, else why adopt the word 
lefores, but for some subtle analogy between the delicate flavour 
of the creature and their finer relishes of wit in what we poorly 
translate fleasantries. In fact, how light of digestion we feel 
after a hare ! How tender its processes after swallowing ! 
What chyle it promotes ! How etherial, as if its living celerity 
were a type of its nimble coursing through the animal juices ! " 
Incidentally elsewhere Lamb says that bullock's heart is a sub- 
stitute for hare. Certain large hares in the United States are 
" Jackass rabbits." Sam Weller in Pickwick described a fidgety 
invalid as "A genlem'n of the precise and tidy sort who puts 
their feet in little India-rubber fire-buckets wen it's vet vether, 
and never has no other bosom friends but hare-skins." Piscator, 
in Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler.^ teaches Scholar " there are 
many country people that believe hares change sexes every 
year ; and there be very many learned men think so too, for in 
their dissecting them they find many reasons to incline them to 
that belief." 

The Rabbit, Lcpus Cuniculus, which we know so well in its 
wild state as a most prolific little animal, and of much popularity 
as a food for the working classes, " thrives best," says Fuller, 
" on barren ground, and grows fattest in the hardest frosts : their 
flesh is fine and wholesome." Both this animal and the hare 
afiect some persons who partake of either, with nettlerash, or 
spasmodic asthma. Rabbit pie made without a hole in the 
top crust to let ptomainic vapours escape, as generated by the 
flesh whilst being baked, has proved actually poisonous in several 
recorded cases. " Talbotays " was a former sauce taken with 
rabbits and hares, being concocted of the blood, with pepper, 
salt, and ale. In Yorkshire there is a familiar nursery rhyme : — 

" Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit pie, 
Come my ladies, come and buy, 
Else your babies they will cry." 



GAME. 323 

Rabbit flesh somewhat resembles fowl. The thin sides about 
the ribs of a rabbit, and the flabby belly flanks are always of a 
bad taste, and should be removed in the trimming of the animal, 
so as not to be used. For the same reason it is never advisable to 
fill a rabbit with stuffing inside the belly. Likewise care should 
be exercised only to approve of a sound liver for cooking, as free 
from nodules, or discoloured spots. In Lear's Book of Nonsense 
(about which Ruskin pronounced, " The Book of Nonsense, by 
Edward Lear, with its corollary carols, inimitable and refreshing, 
and perfect rhythm, is surely the most innocent and beneficial 
of all such books ") occurs the quaint jingle :— 

" There was an old person whose habits 
Induced him to feed upon rabbits ; 
When he'd eaten eighteen, he turned perfectly green, 
Upon which he relinquished those habits." 

The Woodcock (Scolopax Rusticola), gets its food mainly by 
suction, and is clean for cooking in its entirety, except the 
gizzard, after being plucked of the feathers. The flesh is better 
as the winter advances. It may be eaten with benefit by 
asthmatic persons, but cannot be kept fit for the table long after 
being killed ; the rump and the loins are furnished with firm 
white fat. MontreuU has a high reputation for its woodcock 
fotis. In English clubs when woodcocks and snipes are served, 
their heads are taken off and returned to the kitchen, from whence 
they reappear at the end of dinner smothered in mutton fat, and 
well seasoned with salt and pepper ; thus prepared they are 
presented on a plate to each guest, accompanied by a lighted 
candle. The guest then grills, or rather burns, the head in the 
flame of the .candle, and proceeds to crunch it whilst still splutter- 
ing with the heat, having first well smothered it with cayenne 
pepper. So says M. Suzanne. Neither bread-sauce, nor fried 
crumbs are usually served with woodcock. Some persons choose 
an orange sauce, or cranberry jelly, or red currant jelly. Few 
dainties can rival a woodcock simply roasted : dress it (likewise 
red mullet) with a little butter : the gravy which comes from 
each of them is its best sauce. Open fire roasting is the only 
means of doing culinary justice to this noble bird ; the in- 
equality of roasting because of the legs makes it clear that such 
a delicate operation cannot be anyhow efiected in a baking oven. 
The time for cooking may be estimated at from fifteen to twenty 



324 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



minutes, but if over-cooked the bird becomes tough, and without 
savour. Serve on toast, and garnish with watercress. 

Retrievers do not like the scent of the woodcock, and will 
frequently decline to bring it in. November and December are 
the woodcock months. 

" A la Saint Michel 
Beoasse tombe du ciel." 

A curious doctrine termed " Totenism " was held of old among 
the Greeks, and the North American Indians, this signifying the 
existence of persons who asserted their several claims to descent 
from, and kinship with certain birds, beasts, or vegetables. Where- 
fore because of the particular " totem," or family association, 
each of such persons would religiously abstain from eating his, or 
her, own kindred creature, or plant. Thus in his Roman Orations, 
Plutarch asks, " Why do the Latins abstain strictly from par- 
taking of the Woodpecker's flesh ? " (Picus). It was the Roman 
" gens," the Piceni, which specially took the woodpecker for its 
totem. In Australia we hear of a medicine-man whose dan 
totem through his mother was a kangaroo, but whose individual 
(secret) totem was the tiger-snake, on which account snakes of 
that species would not hurt him. Longfellow in Hiawatha 
refers to this particular custom. 

" And they painted on the grave posts 
Each his own ancestral totem. 
Each the symbol of his household. 
Figures of the bear, and reindeer. 
Of the turtle, crane, and beaver. 
Each inverted as a token 
That the owner was departed." 

Venison. — The flesh of the deer, is particularly digestible by 
invalids because of its looseness of fibre, and texture, which per- 
mits a special ready access of the gastric juices. But it must not 
be hung long enough to become at all corrupt, so as to engender 
ptomaines afterwards within the stomach, or bowels. Robert 
Lovell (1661) said the flesh of the buck is dry, and causeth piles, 
except used with pepper, cinnamon, and mustard. Venison, 
which is a highly savoury food, consists of albuminates, or 
nutritive solids, niaeteen parts, fat two parts, and water seventy- 
nine parts. It was formerly served in Egypt, as by Joseph to 



GAME. 325 

his brethren, together with furmity made from wheat. If eaten 
too freely, the flesh will breed melancholy. It should never be 
eaten in a hurry," wrote James Payn, " as though it were a 
soup at a railway station. Like a moderately good picture at 
the Academy Exhibition it should be hung, and not too high." 
If it only smelt as nice as it tastes, it would be a public boon, 
but often as the time comes for dressing it, the cook " thinks as 
it ought to be put underground before it produces a pestilence, 
and puts her there, too." Venison Panada will please the sick 
sportsman, this being a preparation of bread soaked, softened, 
and flavoured with a puree of venison. The famous Robin Hood 
said to Henry the Eighth in Sherwood Forest, " Sir, outlaws' 
breakfast is venison, and therefore you must be content with 
such fare as we use. Then the king and queen sate down, and 
were served with venyson, and wyne, by Robin Hood and hys 
men, to theyie great contentaoion." 

" For, finer, or fatter 
Ne'er ranged in a forest, nor smoked on a platter. 
The haunck was a picture for painters to study, 
The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy." 

Oliver Goldsmith's Haunch of Venison. 

The name " alderman's walk " is given to the centre cut 
(long incision) of the haunch, where the most delicate slices are 
to be found. Venison pasty, formerly so much esteemed, owed 
its attraction chiefly to the currants placed between the layers 
of meat. Roger Bacon commended venison, " for," said he, 
" that which Uveth long by his own nature maketh others also 
to live long." In Borneo, the men may not eat the flesh of the 
deer, though it is allowed to the women and children. The 
reason given is that if the men were to eat venison they would 
become as timid as deer. Rebecca, of the Old Testament, must 
have cooked with considerable skill, as she converted the kid 
into savoury meat so nearly resembling venison as to be eaten 
for it by the blind old patriarch Isaac, who evidently could 
appreciate venison as much as do modern epicures. 

Among the privy purse expenses of Henry VII (1490), under 
date August 8th, occurs the item, " to a woman, three shillings 
and four pence, for clarifying deer suet," to be used by the King, 
not for culinary, but for medicinal purposes. It was then, and 
much later employed as an ointment. " Quod olfactu fadum 
est, idem est esu turpe," says the Comic Latin Grammar, " that 



326 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

which is foul to be smelled is also, nasty to be eaten (except 
venison, onions, and cheese)." Shakespeare knew that at the 
rutting season the hart's horn is dangerous, " if thou be hurt 
with hart it brings thee to thy bier." But under ordinary 
circumstances the burnt horn of a stag was given against worms, 
and hart's grease was a remedy for the gout. " The fat, or 
suet, and the marrow of venison (the stag) applied outwardly, 
are very good against rheumatism, and for dissolving tumours, 
for sciatica, and to fortify the nerves." A venison dinner is 
customary annually at Farnham, over which the Bishop of 
Winchester presides. This is a survival of the grand old days 
when the lords of Farnham Castle were princes as well as Bishops. 
In 1892, the stair carpets there were measured by miles. Samuel 
Pepys, January 6th, 1659, " took his wife to their cosen Thomas 
Pepys, and found them just sat down to dinner, which was very 
good, only the venison pasty was palpable mutton, which was 
not handsome." 

Quails {coturnix), though for the most part imported into this 
country, yet find their way commonly into game-sellers shops, 
and afford for the invahd as delicate, succulent, easily digested 
a little dish as can well be desired, though lacking a true gamey 
flavour. As many as two hundred thousand are brought in a 
month to Leadenhall Market during the season. Such great 
quantities have been captured in the Isle of Capri, near Naples, 
as to afiord the Bishop the chief part of his revenue, and 
distinguish him as the Bishop of Quail. The most approved 
way of cooking a quail is to envelop it in a very thin slice of 
bacon, tie it up in a large vine leaf, and then roast it ; or again, 
en papUlote, in a paper case. Also a cold quail pie is a capital 
dish for persons in good health. 

" He that feeds never on worse meat than quails. 
And with choice dainty pJeaaeth appetite, 
Will never have great lust to gnaw his nails, 
Or in a coarse, thin diet take delight." 

The quail is a clean, plump bird, feeding at night on insects 
and seeds. It abounds at the Cape in October and November, 
being generally cooked there in a baking pot, or made into a 
curry. The flavour of a quail is very volatile, and whenever it 
is brought into contact with liquid the perfume evaporates, 
and is lost. Sicilian quails, sent alive to this country, are 
fattened en route on hemp seed, and ground corn soaked in oil. 



GARLIC. 327 

The Romans diverted themselves with fights between the male 
birds pitted one against another ; and it was with quails of the 
same species the Israelites were fed of old in the wilderness, 
and became plague-stricken for their greed. " And there went 
forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, 
and let them fall by the camp, as it were two cubits high upon 
the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, 
and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the 
quails, and they spread them all abroad for themselves round 
about the camp. And while the flesh was yet between their 
teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled 
against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very 
great plague ; and he called the name of that place Kibroth- 
hattaavah (the graves of the greedy), because there they buried 
the people that lusted." The ancient Romans feared quails 
because supposed to cause epileptic fits ; but these birds are 
said to have cured Hercules of epilepsy. 

GARLIC. 

Allium sativum, or garlic, a bulb of strong oniony odour, and 
pungent taste, consists in fact of numerous bulblets known 
technically as " cloves," and grouped together within one 
whitish integument, or capsule, which holds them as it were 
in a sac. An essential oil of garlic, as obtained by distillation 
with water, is a sulphide of the radical allyl, to which most of 
the special properties of garlic are due. This oil contains much 
sulphur, but no oxygen ; all the volatile oils of the onion and 
cabbage tribe are sulphurised. Dumas has described the very 
air of Southern France, particularly of Provence, as perfumed 
with the refined essence of this mystically attractive bulb ; but 
on the other hand Dr. King Chambers writes, " Another article 
of cuisine that ofiends the bowels of unused Britons when abroad 
(in France, Italy, Spain, and Germany) is garlic ; so that not 
uncommonly in Southern climes an egg with the shell on is the 
only procurable animal food without garlic in it. Flatulence 
and looseness are the frequent results. Bouilli, with its 
accompaniments of mustard sauce, and water melon, is the 
safest resource, and not an unpleasant one after a little 
education." Sydney Smith, writing to Lady Holland, his 
daughter, January, 1836, said, " Mrs. Sydney and I have been 



328 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

reading Beauvilliers' book on cookery, from which I find, as I 
suspected, that garlic is power." In November, 1810, he 
had said to Lady Grey, " I am performing miracles in my parish 
with garlic for whooping cough." Likewise from York, in 1818, 
" We conquered here the whooping cough with a pennyworth 
of salt of tartar ; after having filled the sufEerers in vain with Dr. 
Alford's expensive poisons. What an odd thing that such a 
simple specific should not be more known ! " Again, writing 
from Heslington, 1813, he tells his friend JefEreys, " I have been 
spending som;e weeks of dissipation in London, and was trans- 
formed by Circe's cup, not into a brute, but a beau. I am now 
eating the herb moly in the country." Wild garlic, allium moly, 
represents the fabled moly of Homer as given by Hermes to 
Odysseus for counteracting the spells of Circe. 

It is to the intensely-smelling sulphuret of allyl that garlic 
and the onion owe their peculiar odour ; and the rank aroma of 
the breath after eating these plants is caused by the constant 
presence of such oil in minute quantities exhaled from the lungs 
into the air ; it exudes likewise through the pores of the garlic- 
eater's skin, and characterises the perspiration. The odour is 
so difiusible that it is given ofi from the lungs even when garlic 
is applied to the soles of the feet only. If sniffed into the nostrils 
it will revive an hysterical sufierer. The smell thereof is the 
most acrimonious of all the onion tribe. Many marvellous 
effects, and healing powers have been ascribed to garlic, the 
leek, and onions, their juices and preparations. Amongst 
physiological results it is reported that garUc makes the eye 
retina more sensitive, and less able to bear strong light. Dr. 
Pearse, of Plymouth, 1902, has reported concerning the remark- 
able longings of the Irish peasantry for garlic, and their faith 
in its value for curing coughs. During twenty-five years his 
experience has met with the same craving in consumptively 
inclined patients at Plymouth ; he concludes that there must 
be some state of molecular energy in the leek, and onions, which 
serves to furnish the body of a consumptive person with the 
true correlative for maintaining healthy growth. " Such," 
he adds, " is the craving for onions by consumptive patients, 
and such the agreement of these odorous bulbs therewith, that 
I do not doubt that this is an instance parallel with that of the 
Swiss, who by some instinct, or evolved experience, have learnt 
to eat burnt sponge for the dispersion of their throat goitre, or 



GARLIC. 329 



with the passion of the poorly fed Hindu for tamarinds, and 
lime-juice. 

For chronic bronchitis garlic is of particular virtue ; therefore 
such garlic is largely used by country people throughout Ireland, 
enjoying among them a reputation for curing coughs when it is 
made into a tea, or mixed with whisky. It is also pounded 
and employed as a poultice for scrofulous sores; and further, 
it is said to prevent anthrax, or " blackleg " in cattle, being 
used largely for such a purpose. The old-fashioned syrup of 
garlic is made by first pouring a quart of boiling water upon a 
pound of the fresh bulbs cut in slices, putting the same in a close 
earthen vessel to stand for twelve hours, then the syrup is made 
of this infusion slowly cooked with the proper quantity of sugar. 
But indeed garlic ought never to be actually boiled, because 
by this treatment the essential oil on which the whole virtue 
of the garlic depends becomes exhaled, and dissipated. To 
be taken as a medicine garlic is stimulating, and agrees capitally 
with persons of a cold, passive temperament, but it ofEends 
and upsets others who are of a hot feverish disposition, and 
apt to become dyspeptic. 

Dr. Minchin, medical officer at Kells, published (1902) articles 
on the successful treatment of tubercular consumption, and 
of lupus (an erosive skin disease) by garlic. He finds that the 
allium sativum exercises a specifically destructive action on 
the bacillus of tubercle, at all events in the human subject. 
Cases of very encouraging cure in confirmed consumption are 
given by him in detail. The freshly expressed juice from the 
garlic, without removing the chlorophyl, is used by him, being 
most reliably prepared at home. When diluted with an equal 
quantity of water (or dilute spirit of wine), this is inhaled anti- 
septically on a small extemporised inhaler made of pliable 
perforated zinc plate, (as introduced by Dr. Yeo) ; some of the 
liquid being put afresh on the sponge of this inhaler three times 
during the day, and the inhaler being worn constantly (except 
at mealtimes) over the mouth and nose. Respecting this mode 
of treatment. Dr. Berdoe writes, " the only objection thereto 
is the offensive smell of the remedy as due to the sulphides, 
and oxides of allyl. No doubt this has militated against the 
employment of the onion tribe in regular medicine, since its 
virtues in bronchial troubles, and as affording topical remedies 
for abscesses, sores, etc. have always been recognized by country 



330 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

folk. I look upon it as a perfectly safe treatment, efficient in 
most cases of incipient tubercular disease of the lungs, in nearly- 
all cases moderately advanced, and in many very advanced cases. 
Its action is fairly rapid, and the treatment is scarcely open to 
any objection, it being readily applicable to all cases of consump- 
tion, whether in the well-to-do, or the poorer classes, either at 
home, or in the general wards of a hospital. I have had so 
much success with it that I have come to look upon few cases 
of consumption as hopeless." If intestinal troubles are further 
present, Dr. Minchin gives the garlic juice also by the mouth, 
in doses of twenty drops diluted with water, and repeated several 
times a day. Garlic in syrup promotes expectoration, and is 
therefore beneficial in the chronic bronchial afiections of aged, 
weakly subjects. It has been related in Kitchen Physio how 
Cavazanni at Venice throughout more than two years used 
garlic with remarkable success for tubercular consumption, 
having treated more than two hundred cases, all of which were 
shown by a bacteriological inspection of the sputa to be un- 
doubtedly consumptive. 

For imparting a mUd flavour of garlic to a salad of endive, or 
chicory, a crust of stale bread which has been rubbed with garlic 
is sometimes placed at the bottom inside the bowl, this being 
called in France a capon (chapon). It was originated by the 
Gascons, who were poor, but vain, so that it occurred to one of 
them to name this flavoured crust a capon, in order that he 
might truthfully tell his friends he had dined superbly on a capon, 
and salad. A clove of garlic inserted in the knuckle of a shoulder, 
or leg of mutton will impart a slight, but distinct flavour to the 
whole joint ; and a rump steak is improved in taste if served on 
a plate first rubbed over with a clove of garlic cut in two. For 
an adult taking garlic remedially on account of bronchial trouble, 
one or more cloves may be eaten at a time. Raw garlic applied 
to the skin reddens it ; when bruised and mixed with lard, it 
makes a very useful counter-irritant opodeldoc. If employed 
thus over the chest in front, and between the shoulder blades 
behind, of a child with whooping cough, it proves eminently 
helpful. Old Fuller says, " indeed a large book has been written 
de esu allii, about the culinary virtues of garlic, which book, if it 
hold proportion with truth, one would wonder that any man 
should be sick and dye who hath Garlic growing in his garden. 
Sure I am our palate- people are much pleased therewith as giving 



GELA TIN. 331 



a delicious haut goiti to most meats tliey eat, as tasted, and smelt 
in their sauce, thougt not seen therein." The old Greeks, in 
their fastidious refinement detested garlic. It is true the Attic 
husbandmen ate it from remote times, probably in part to drive 
away by its odour venomous creatures from assailing them ; but 
persons who partook of it were not allowed to enter the temples 
of Cybele. Horace, among the Eomans, was made ill by eating 
garlic at the table of Maecenas, and he afterwards (Bpode the 
third) reviled the plant as " Cicutis allium nocentius," garlic 
more poisonous than hemlock. 

" If his old father's throat any impious sinner 
Has cut with unnatural hand to the bone, 
Give him garlic — more noxious than hemlock — at dinner. 
Ye Gods ! what strong stomachs the reapers must own." 

Translation by Sib 'EaEODORE Mabtin. 

When leprosy formerly prevailed in this country, garlic (most 
acrimonious of odour) was a prime specific for its relief, and as 
the victims had to " pil " (or peel) their own garlic, they got the 
nickname of Pilgarlics ; hence too it came about that any one 
shunned like a leper had this epithet applied to him, or her. 
Durand, the gallstone specialist, advised the free use of garlic to 
his patients. A garlic clove, when introduced into the lower 
bowel, will destroy thread worms, and. if eaten, will abolish 
round worms. 



GELATIN. 

Jellies for the convalescent give benefit chiefly by the gelatin 
which is their basis. It is a leading constituent of young animal 
flesh, veal, calf's foot, trotter, etc., in its connective tissue. 
Likewise it occurs purely in isinglass from the swimming bladder 
of fish, especially the sturgeon. Gelatin is soluble in boiling 
water, easily digested, and has the advantage of fixing the acids 
during digestion, being thus of service in cases with an excess 
of gastric juice. But the main value of gelatin is as an 
economiser of primitive food-substance (proteid). Whilst not 
a food of itself, it materially enhances the nutritiveness of other 
products with which its combination occurs. Jellies are thereby 
fundamentally improved, so that the old-fashioned notion of 
calf's foot jelly is founded on a substantially useful fact, as regards 
its sustaining properties. Such jelly also supplies sustenance 



332 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

by its sugar. Bones are a common source of gelatin, but dog's 
fed exclusively on ground bones have failed to survive ; it being 
thus proved that gelatin alone cannot maintain life, and that 
plain jellies are not of themselves substantial food. Nevertheless, 
light animal jellies are of distinct service for the delicate invalid. 
Several varieties, such as hartshorn jelly, ivory jelly, sick room 
jelly (Francatelli's), and brown bread jelly, are formulated in 
Kitchen Physic. Likewise, milk jelly, vaseline jelly, apple jelly, 
and meat jelly, are to be commended under varying bodily 
requirements. 

Isinglass is the purest form of commercial gelatin, the best 
being prepared from the sounds, or air bladders of fish, whilst 
that of a second rate quality is made from clean scraps of hide, 
from skins, hoofs and horns ; also in Bengal from some seaweeds. 
There are " lyre," " leaf," and " book " isinglass. When com- 
bined with brandy, isinglass makes an excellent cement for 
mending broken china. Isinglass of good quality contains 
osmazome, gelatin, and some salts of potash, soda, and lime. 
It is emollient, and demulcent, and serves as a useful subsidiary 
nutriment for the invalid, whether added to milk, broth, or 
made into a jelly. Boil an ounce of isinglass, and a dozen cloves, 
in a quart of water down to a pint, strain hot through a flannel 
bag on to two ounces of sugar candy, and flavour with a little 
angelica, or with two or three teaspoonfuls of some approved 
liqueur. For an isinglass jelly, to be given in dysentery, or 
chronic diarrhoea : dissolve one ounce of isinglass in a pint of 
water over the fire, add an ounce of white sugar, and a pint of 
good port wine, strain through muslin, and allow it to set. The 
old name Icthyocolla is derived from icthus, a fish, and holla, 
glue. 

Strange as it may seem, a clear day is usually much better for 
making fruit jellies than a cloudy one, because the atmosphere 
affects the boiling of the sugar. Blanc mange prepared now-a- 
days with milk and some starch such as of corn flour, so as when 
boiled, and having become cold, to form an opaque jelly, was 
originally a soup, composed of consomme of lean meat, with 
milk of almonds, and spiced with cinnamon, or cloves, or made 
from roast fowl, minced, and pounded, or veal treated in like 
manner. If properly supplied in our modern way, it should 
be a jelly prepared from calf's foot, or gelatin, with milk of 
almonds. The word jelly was formerly gelly, as signifying 



GELATIN. 333 



gelatus, congealed, or frozen with cold. For making a meat 
jelly : Take half an ounce of gelatin, and dissolve it in half a tea- 
cupful of cold water. Cut the meat from half a chicken, 
cut up half a pound of veal, and half a pound of gravy 
beef, and put all these into a saucepan, with half a pint 
of cold water, and a little salt. Stand it at the side of 
the fire, and simmer slowly. Put the chicken bones, and 
any bones from the veal, into another saucepan, covering them 
with cold water, and let them boil gently for three or four hours. 
Pour the liquor from both saucepans into a basin, and add the 
dissolved gelatin. Strain two or three times through muslin 
until quite clear, then pour into a mould, rinsed previously out 
of cold water, and put the jeUy aside in a cold place to set. 

Calves' feet, free from bone, yield twenty-five per cent of 
gelatin on boiling, therefore they are well known for afiording 
abundant substance for a pure jelly ; but we find that the cost 
of procuring the jelly in this way from the feet is sixteen times 
as much as to use good commercial gelatin for the purpose. It 
is better to add such gelatin to plain good stock (as of chicken) 
than to boil up veal or calves' feet for the jelly, which of itself 
is poor nutriment. Ordinary jellies can only be regarded as 
dear foods, and the calf's foot jelly of the shops yields no building 
material at all. 

For milk jelly : Take one pint of milk, half an ounce of gelatin, 
and one ounce of white sugar. Boil up the milk, and add the 
sugar ; dissolve the gelatin in a little milk, or water ; heat this 
up, and put it with the sweetened milk ; cool a little, and pour 
into a wetted mould in a cool place ; turn out when set. Vaseline 
jelly, or petroleum jelly, makes an admirable intestinal anti- 
putrescent, and destroyer of microbes within the digestive tract ; 
it is also demulcent in some way, even although taken up but 
sparingly as a food. Indeed, Dr. Hutchison contends that 
the petroleum when swallowed in this form can be discovered 
finally in the foecal excrement which passes out of the bowels, 
If made into an emulsion with cream, the petroleum is found to 
defeat alcohoUc, lactic, and butyric fermentation, preventing 
any self-poisoning by noxious matters absorbed into the blood 
from the bowels. The purest petroleum is white vaseline. 

Tea jelly and cofEee jelly, though afiording but little nourish- 
ment, are of a revivifying character, and frequently of service 
to the invalid. For the former : Soak half an ounce of good 



334 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

gelatin (Nelson's) in half a pint of water for an hour, so as to 
quite dissolve it ; then add a breakfastcupful of strong, clear, 
fragrant tea, just made ; sweeten to taste, and put into the 
mould for setting, adding perhaps a little cognac, if expedient. 
Cofiee jelly may be prepared in like manner, whilst substituting 
strongly -made fresh cofiee instead of the tea infusion. Whipped 
cream, if served with these jellies, will make them more 
nourishing. 

For apple shape jellied, take one pound of (rennet) apples, 
one pound of sugar, three quarters of an ounce of gelatin, and 
a little seasoning of lemon peel, or clove. Add a teacupful of 
water to the sugar, and boil for five minutes. Cut the apples 
neatly into quarters, core them, and stew into the syrup until 
quite clear. Take out the apples and put them nicely into a 
buttered mould. Soak the gelatin and add it to the syrup, then 
let it boil a little, and when slightly cooled pour into the mould. 
Turn out when cold, and serve with whipped cream if allowed. 
An apple jelly has little or no perfume of its own, and therefore 
it may be pleasantly, as well as usefully, flavoured with orange 
flowers, orange, quince, cherries, or rose water. 

Cherry jelly is a delicate confection for a capricious stomach 
liable to nausea. Crush the succulent cherries, and take out 
the stones, except from about one-eighth part of the fruit used ; 
these stones should be bruised, and left, so as to impart a sufii- 
cient taste of almonds to the jelly ; they should be strained out 
before cooling. But Cherries possess pectin, or solidifying juice, 
only to a small extent ; therefore a quarter of the same weight of 
red currants should be added. Put the whole into a preserving 
pan with rather less sugar than fruit, but using an equal weight 
of each if the Cherries are watery, or very acid ; bring up to the 
boil, and keep it at this for a quarter of an hour ; then pour the 
contents of the preserving pan on a sieve over an earthenware 
dish, and allow them to drain. When the mass in the sieve is 
sufficiently cooled, squeeze the remaining juice out by wringing 
in a cloth ; next put the juice into the preserving pan again, 
bringing it up to the boil, and keep it at this until the jelly has 
reached the proper degree of consistence ; then take it off the 
fire, let it cool a little, and fill the pots. 

For Blackberry jelly, take two pounds of Blackberries, a 
quarter of a pound of white sugar, and half an ounce of gelatin ; 
extract the juice from the fruit by putting it in the oven in a jar 



GIN. 335 

for a few hours, then strain through a muslin bag placed over 
a colander. Soak hall an ounce of Gelatin in a little water, and 
add this to the Blackberry juice, with a quarter of a pound of 
white sugar, and boil all for half an hour. Put it into a wet 
mould, and turn out the next day. The same recipe will serve 
for preparing Mulberry jelly, whilst making use of this fruit 
instead of Blackberries. 

Ginger jelly, which is excellent as a stomachic adjunct to 
stewed fruits, may be readily made by adding extract of the 
root (see " Ginater ") to water sweetened to taste, and into which 
when boiling a quarter of an ounce of Gelatin is stirred so as 
to become dissolved. 

GIN. 

(and See Spirits). 

As an ardent spirit Gin is obtained by fermenting a mash of 
malt and rye, this product being distilled, and re-distilled, 
whilst some juniper berries, with a little salt (and sometimes 
hops) are added in the final distillation. The two important 
varieties of Gin are Dutch " Hollands," or Schiedam, and English 
Gin, known when sweetened, and diluted, as " Old Tom." This 
last appellation was got from the fact of Gin having been sold 
surreptitiously by the twopennyworth, when to supply less than 
two gallons at a time was forbidden by law. A leaden pipe was 
passed cunningly through the vendor's wall beneath the paw 
of a cat, which animal figured outside, the money being put into 
the cat's mouth by illicit purchasers of the spirit, as then dispensed 
from inside by means of a funnel through the pipe. The tavern 
bearing this sign of a cat (" Old Tom ") was in Blue Anchor 
Alley, Saint Luke's. Hollands Gin is almost free from sweetness, 
and is generally more pure than English Gin, which is of all 
spirits the poorest in alcoholic strength. Juniper berries, as 
used in making the best Gin, contain juniperin, sugar, resins, 
wax, fat, with formic, and acetic acids, also malates ; they 
afford a yellow, aromatic oil which acts on the kidneys, and 
gives a sense of cordial warmth to the stomach. In France, 
and Italy, the berries are eaten raw, fifteen or twenty at a time, 
to stimulate a flow of urine. Likewise by an old Tract (London 
1682), On the use of Juniper, and Elder berries in our Publick 
Houses, we are told that " the simple decoction of these berries. 



336 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

sweetened with a little sugar candy, will afford liquors so pleasant 
to the eye, so grateful to the palate, and so beneficial to the body, 
that the wonder is they have not been courted, and ushered 
into our Publick Houses, so great are the extraordinary beauty, 
and virtues of these berries." Purple, aromatic Juniper berries 
grow commonly in England on a low, stiff evergreen Conifer shrub, 
about heathy ground. They serve to make a capital liqueur, 
half a pound of the crushed berries being infused for a fortnight 
in two quarts of brandy, with six ounces of loaf sugar, closely 
stopped down, then strained off, filtered, bottled, and corked 
securely. The prophet Job has told about rude wanderers 
driven forth from among men to dwell in caves and rocks, who 
taunted him with cruel derision : " They cut up mallows by the 
bushes, and Juniper roots (bitter, and harsh fodder) for their 
meat." In much more modern times, as saith The Husbandman 
(1750), " When women chide their husbands for a long while 
together it is commonly said they ' give them a Juniper lecture,' 
which, I am informed, is a comparison taken from the long 
lasting of the live coals of that wood, not from its sweet smell ; 
but comparisons run not upon all four." In France the Thrush 
is specially esteemed for table use because of the Juniper berries 
on which it grows fat. When this bird is cooked its crop, 
redolent of the woodland Juniper, is left untouched ; whilst to 
each plump breast an apron of sliced fat bacon is fitted, the bird 
being then threaded with others on a thin spit, and set twirling 
to roast before a brisk fire of vine trimmings. Juniper berries, 
besides being fragrant of smell, have a warm sweet, pungent 
flavour, which becomes bitter on further mastication. Sprays 
of the Juniper shrub are sometimes strewn over floors of apart- 
ments so as to give out when trodden-upon their agreeable odour, 
which is thought to promote sleep. The Prophet Elijah was 
sheltered from the persecutions of King Ahab by a Juniper tree ; 
since which time the shrub has been always regarded as a place 
of refuge, and as a symbol of succour. The berries are said to 
have performed wonders in curing the stone. Evelyn has named 
them the Foresters' Panacea, " one of the most universal 
remedies in the world to our crazy Forester." In a case of any 
painful local swelling, rheumatic, or neuralgic, some of the 
bruised berries, if applied topically, will afford prompt, and 
lasting relief. 
Formerly by the use of Juniper berries one Sir Theodore 



GIN. 337 

Mayerne (1645) cured patients deplorably afflicted with epilepsy, 
when every other tried remedy had failed. His dictum was 
" let the patient carry a bag of these berries about with him, 
and eat from ten to twenty of them every morning^for a month, 
or more, before breakfast. The berries should be well masticated, 
and the husks either rejected, or swallowed. In France the 
Genievre (Anglice " Geneva "), from which we derive our word 
" Gin," is made from these berries. But at present English 
Gin is more cheaply manufactured by leaving them out altogether, 
and giving the spirit their flavour by distilling it with a portion 
of oil of turpentine, which somewhat resembles the Juniper 
berries in taste. Again, much so-called Gin is fabricated out 
of silent spirit tinctured with Jumper, salt and turpentine. The 
" Gin fizz " of Philadelphia is a drink composed of Gin, lemon- 
juice, and effervescing water, with, or without sugar. Gin 
applied externally is destructive to parasites. Carlyle was 
cruelly severe on Charles Lamb, against whom he attributed 
" an insuperable proclivity to Gin." " Poor old Lamb's talk 
is contemptibly small, and usually ill-mannered to a degree, 
a ghastly make-believe of wit ! A Cockney to the marrow." 
The famous Dr. Samuel Johnson, though often rough, and surly 
as a bear, had in reality a tender heart, and his charity was 
unbounded, though he was never rich. He would fill his pockets 
with small cash, which he distributed to beggars, in defiance 
of political economy. When told that the recipients of his 
money only laid it out upon Gin and tobacco, he replied that 
it was savage to deny them the few coarse pleasures which the 
richer folk disdained. Because of its diuretic action in pro- 
moting a free flow of urine, whether by reason of its admixture 
with Juniper, or through its containing turpentine. Gin is of 
signal use for helping to relieve some forms of dropsy ; which 
afiection is not of itself a disease, but symptomatic of obstructed 
circulation in the liver, the heart, or the kidneys. This being 
the case, any remedial treatment must of course be directed to 
the particular organ at fault in every case, whether one of those 
already named, or the brain, the pleura, or the abdominal 
peritoneum. Certain signs serve in a measure to indicate the 
kind of dropsy which is present ; that of the kidneys declares 
itself by swelling at first in the face, and the upper extremities, 
with pufiiness of the loose tissues about the eyelids ; that of the 
heart begins with swelling of the feet, and ankles, which gradually 



338 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

moves upwards ; that of the liver is chiefly denoted by abdominal 
enlargement. In dropsy from congested kidneys it is always 
questionable whether diuretics are not likely to do harm by 
mischievously stimulating these organs already overfull of blood. 



GINGER AND GINGERBREAD. 

Except for its popular essence as a stomachic, Ginger is better 
known to the cook, and confectioner, than as a medicament. 
Nevertheless, this condimentary root-stock, crushed, or in 
powder, will serve most admirably as a stimulant in various 
bodily emergencies. Its restorative effect is immediate, and 
more telling than that of alcohol ; furthermore, its pain-relieving 
qualities are positive, though the modus Oferandi cannot be 
easily explained. Whenever there is a sudden reduction of the 
temperature, with coldness of the skin and extremities, and 
with a sense of depressing chill, all accompanying some severe 
pain. Ginger in a quickly operating form will afEord prompt, 
and specific relief. It is the rhizome of a plant which grows in 
the East, and West Indies, and is scraped before importation. 
Its odour is due to an essential oil, and its pungent, hot taste 
to a resin. For gouty indigestion the root may be powdered 
in a mortar, and a heaped teaspoonful of it should then be 
infused in boiling milk, to be taken warm at supper, or at 
breakfast. Ginger is best suited for persons of relaxed habits, 
especially when from the pale peeled root. For making an essence 
of Ginger, take three ounces, freshly grated, and an ounce of 
lemon peel, cut thin ; put these into a quart of French brandy, 
and let it stand for ten days, shaking it daily. Half a wineglassf ul 
of 'the same may be taken for a dose, with (or without) hot water. 
It will speedily subdue colic, or flatulent spasms. In cases of 
inert constipation, because the intestinal energies want rousing 
into activity, Ginger is an excellent spice, particularly in the 
form of Gingerbread, made also with honey, and brown treacle. 
Kecipes for Ginger cake, and a Gingerbread loaf, as well as for 
Yorkshire " parkin," are given explicitly in Kitchen Physio. 
Preserved Ginger (imported) is a capital sweetmeat, which is 
cordial, and somewhat laxative. It is prepared by scalding the 
Ginger roots when they are green, and full of sap, then peeling 
them in coldWater, and putting them into round jars with a 



GINGER AND GINGERBREAD. 339 

rick syrup. This Ginger when cut into thin strips makes a 
delicious, and wholesome filling for sweet sandwiches. 

Dr. Tobias Venner (1620) advised the Universities that " green 
Ginger is good for the memory ; whilst a conserve of Rosemary, 
and Sage, if often used by students, particularly in the morning 
when fasting, doth greatly delight the brain." An extract of 
Ginger, very serviceable for domestic uses, may be made by 
crushing half a pound of fine whole Ginger in a mortar, and 
putting the same into a wide-mouthed bottle with half a pint 
of unsweetened Gin ; let it stand for a month, shaking it from 
time to time ; then drain it off into another bottle, allowing it 
to remain undisturbed until it has become clear. If a piece of 
Ginger root is chewed it causes a considerable flow of saliva, 
and will thus relieve heartburn by the patient swallowing the 
alkaline saliva as it continues to be secreted. Powdered Ginger 
mixed with some water into a paste, and applied against the 
skin, will produce much tingling, and heat of surface ; to which 
•end it may be spread on brown paper, and put as a plaster on 
the temples, or against the back of the neck, as a means for 
relieving the headache of passive fulness. Queen Elizabeth 
(so say the Arcana Fairfaxiana, 1640) had a famous " pother " 
(powder) " to be used att anietime after, or before meate, to 
expel winde, comforte ye stomack, and help digestion. It was 
composed chiefly of white Ginger, powdered with Cinnamon, 
Anise, Caraway, and Fennel Seed, pounded, and searced 
<sifted)." 

For making Brandy Snaps of Ginger, which are carminative, 
and gently relaxing to the bowels, take one pound of flour, half a 
pound of coarse brown sugar, a quarter of a pound of butter, 
one dessertspoonful of aUspice, two dessertspoonfuls of ground 
ginger, the grated peel of half a lemon, and the juice of a whole, 
lemon ; mix all together, adding half a pound of dark brown 
treacle (not golden syrup), and beat well. Butter some sheet 
tins, and spread the paste thinly over them, and bake in a rather 
slow oven. When done, cut it into squares, and roll each square 
round the finger as it is raised from the tin. Keep the Snaps 
in a dry, closely-covered tin, out of any damp, so that they shall 
remain crisp. 

Now-a-days Ginger Ale is made thus : Of plain syrup, one 
gallon ; essence of Ginger, four ounces ; essence of Cayenne 
pepper, one ounce ; white wine vinegar, four ounces ; burnt 



340 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

sugar, for colouring, half an ounce ; mixed together, and to be 
used from an ounce to an ounce and a half to each bottleful of 
water, or mineral water. The Gringer beer of ordinary use, as 
provided in stone bottles, and fermented with yeast, contains 
at least 2 per cent of alcohol as the result of its fermentation 
proceeding to the vinous stage. Dr. Eobt. Hutchison, in his 
Food and Dietetics (1902) avers that the article named Ginger 
beer, as now commonly sold, may have nothing to do with 
Ginger at all, because the requisite degree of sharpness is usually 
obtained by aid of tincture of capsicum (Cayenne pepper). 
Genuine fermented Ginger-beer is a very difierent product ; 
its ingredients are : water, seven gallons ; loaf sugar, seven 
pounds ; bruised ginger, half a pound ; tartaric acid, two ounces ; 
gum arable, one-third of a pound ; oil of lemon, one fluid drachm ; 
yeast (brewer's), one-sixth of a pint. We are warned that 
latterly in the making of Ginger essence certain unscrupulous 
manufacturers, particularly in America, and Germany, have 
taken to the use of wood alcohol, a poisonous agent, which has 
a deadly effect upon the nervous centres. Mothers are in the 
habit of giving this " Essence of Jamaica Ginger " for griping 
pains in the belly to their children after eating unripe fruit, 
thereby doing the poor sufferers much more harm than if they 
had been left alone to fight the battle of passing colic. 

Grantham Gingerbread, a white form of Ginger biscuit, is 
made especially at Grantham, Lincolnshire, and sold there 
particularly at Fair times. Forty or fifty years ago the brown 
Gingerbread displayed on stalls at village Feasts, and Fairs, 
was shaped into the figures of animals, and whimsical devices 
(sometimes coarsely significant), which were gilded over with 
Dutch metal. In Tom Brown's School Days Gingerbread of 
such sort was retailed at the stall of " Angel Heavens," sole 
vendor thereof, " whose booth groaned with kings, and queens, 
and elephants, and prancing steeds, all glaring with gold ; there 
was more gold on Angel's cakes than there is ginger in those 
of this degenerate age." Gingerbread ("Pain d'Efice") has 
been in use at Paris since the fourteenth century. For " Ginger- 
bread Nuts," which are handy, comforting, and slightly laxative, 
rub half a pound of butter into one and a half pounds of flour, 
with half a pound of brown sugar, and three-quarters of an ounce 
of fine ginger, powdered ; mix well with ten ounces of dark 
treacle ; make into a stiff paste, and cut into circular nuts with 



GOA T. 341 

a tin mould, or drop in buttons on a baking tin ; bake in a 
moderate oven, and keep the nuts in an air-tight canister. 
" Parkin " is suitable at the light supper, or at the lunch, of a 
costive invalid. Take one pound of flour (and, if approved, 
one pound of medium oatmeal), two pounds of brown treacle, 
one pound of dark moist sugar, half a pound of butter, one ounce 
of ground ginger, the yolks of four fresh eggs (well beaten), and 
half a teaspoonful of powdered carbonate of soda ; melt the 
treacle in a warm oven, rub the butter into the flour (with the 
oatmeal), mix all the other ingredients well together, and stir 
into the flour ; pour into well-buttered baking tins (not more 
than an inch thick of the mixture into the tins), and bake very 
slowly in a cool oven for quite an hour, then cut into suitable 
squares. For the prevention of habitual constipation a simple 
sort of Gringerbread made with some fresh butter (and perhaps 
oatmeal, unless this disagrees) is effective. In Dame Deborah 
Bunting's Booh of Receipts (1766) it is directed to " take half a 
pound of London treacle, two eggs beaten up, one pound of 
fresh butter (melted), half a pound of moist brown sugar, one 
and a half ounces of powdered ginger, which mix with as much 
flower (sic) as will roll it into a paste ; roll it out, and cut it into 
whatever shapes you please ; bake it into a slow oven ; a little 
time does it." 

Ginger tea was at one time a popular beverage. Coleridge 
had a weakness for this infusion, and advised it to his wife for 
their small son Hartley. He thought the boy wotdd like it, 
and that it would help him to grow, the father declaring that 
a teaspoonful of Ginger piled up would make enough tea to last 
the child for two days, always half-filling the teacup with milk ; 
he himself took Ginger mixed in his morning coffee, and a cup 
of Ginger tea in the afternoon. Similarly, " When feeling cold 
think of Ginger," quoth the immortal Jorrocks. 

For " Mandarin Pudding," a wholesome stomachic dish, " mix 
a quarter of a pound of fine bread-crumbs, a quarter of a pound 
of finely-chopped suet, a quarter of a pound of Jamaica preserved 
Ginger, with two eggs, and two tablespoonfuls of syrup of Ginger ; 
pour into a buttered mould, and steam for four hours." 

GOAT. 

Charles Lamb, in his Ella's Essay, Cfrace before Meat, has said : 
" During the early times of the world, and the hunter state of 



342 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

man, when dinners were precarious things, and a full meal was 
something more than a common blessing, when a bellyfuU was a 
windfall, and looked like a special providence, then in the shouts, 
aad triumphal songs with which, after a season of sharp abstinence 
a lucky booty of goat's flesh (or deer's flesh) would naturally 
be ushered home, existed perhaps the germ of the modern " Grace 
before meat." This animal, the Goat {Oapra hircus), long 
associated with medicine, and named a carfendo, from cropping, 
yields a milk " accounted cordiall against consumption : yea, 
its very stench is used for a perfume in Araby the Happy." The 
milk is richer in solids than that of the woman, the cow, or the 
ass, containing the largest proportion of cheese substance 
(casein), and the most fatty constituents, as well as salts, though 
it is comparatively poor in sugar of milk. It possesses hircin, 
r hircic acid, which has a peculiar smell, and taste. Goats' 
milk will often serve to check obstinate diarrhoea, whilst whey 
made therefrom helps to obviate scrofulous disease. This whey 
is the chief means of a cure carried out specially in well-known 
establishments of Germany, and the Tyrol. The whey is 
sweetish, balsamic, and agreeable, with a greenish tint, and 
consisting of sugar in solution with lactic acid, and with animal 
extractive matters, such as osmazome, and the like ; also mineral 
salts are present, these being the chlorides of potassium, and 
sodium, sulphate of soda, and phosphate, and carbonate of lime. 
Help is given in the cure by the restorative atmospheric, and 
climatic influences which are brought locally to bear. It is 
essential that the whey shall be made from the milk of Goats 
which range, and browse on high mountains, particularly of 
Switzerland. In habitual torpor of the digestive organs, with 
constipation of the bowels, this whey-cure by Goats' milk effects 
admirable results, whilst in the scrofulous affections of children 
the benefits are simply wonderful. 

At Naples there are no milk carts, but the cow is brought 
to the door, and milked on the spot to the quantity required. 
" Passa la vacca " is said by the customer on a blank day, — 
" Pass on ! can't afiord milk to-day ; " which has become a 
homely proverb expressing far more than that, " the wolf (as 
well as the cow) is at the door." " Close behind come the Goats, 
and they, too, must be milked in sight of the purchasers, or how 
can it be sure that this milk is not watered." Upstairs climbs 
Nanny, if need be to the topmost storey, her owner professing 



GOAT. 343 

loudly his innocence of tricks ; but under his ragged jacket he 
has a skin of water, with a tube extending down his sleeve. In 
Italy a kind of cream cheese (ricotta) is made from Goats' milk, 
and is sold in the streets, being much appreciated as sweet, and 
palatable. The vendors carry it on their heads like our muffin 
sellers, and retail it at so much a centime. 

Sir Wm. Broadbent, writing about the prevention of pulmonary 
tuberculosis, says " it is interesting to note that asses, and Goats, 
do not suffer from this disease " ; wherefore, adds Mrs, Barle in 
Pot Pourri, " it is a continual surprise to me that Goats are not 
kept for supplying their milk to the Consumptive Sanatoriums." 
Old Lord Chesterfield, in one of his famous letters to his son 
(London, March, 1759), wrote : " I am rather better than I was, 
which I owe, not to my physicians, but to an ass, and a cow, 
who nourish me, between them, very plentifully, and whole- 
somely ; in the morning the ass is my nurse, at night the cow ; 
and I have just now bought a milch goat, which is to graze, and 
to nurse me at Blackheath. I do not know what may come 
of this latter, and I am not without apprehensions that it may 
make a satyr of me ; but should I find that obscene disposition 
growing upon me I will check it in time, for fear of endangering 
my life, and character, by rapes." Again, in another letter, 
from Italy, he records the fact that the Italian doctors had 
ordered for his lungs, then out of order, that he must drink 
asses' milk twice a day, and Goats' whey as often as he pleases, 
the oftener the better ; whilst in his common diet they recom- 
mended an attention to pectorals, such as sago, barley, turnips, 
etc. In the Essay on Witches and Night Fears, Elia says : " Nor, 
when the wicked are expressly symbolised in Scripture by a 
Goat, was it so much to be wondered at that by our ancestors 
(whom we are too hasty to set down in the gross as fools) the 
devil was thought to come sometimes in the body of this animal, 
and assert his metaphor." It is a fact worthy of notice that 
where a goat is kept about a dwelling-place rats wiU not come. 

Dr. Robert Hutchison tells us that Goats' milk, because 
stronger even than cows' milk, is unsuitable for the use of infants. 
One hundred parts contain four and a half of proteid solids. 
Whey procured from this milk ranks between aliments, and 
medicines, being of high value in the treatment of patients 
debilitated by organic disease of the stomach, or intestines. 
Paul Kruger, when among the Boers (as recently told in his Life,) 



344 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

had his left thumb blown ofE by the bursting of his rifle when 
firing at a rhinoceros charging upon him, from which animal 
he then had to ride for his life. He doctored his hand roughly 
with turpentine, but everybody insisted it would have to come 
oS. Kruger, however, flatly refused to lose his hand. " The 
two joints of what was once my thumb had gone, but it appeared 
that it would still be necessary to remove a piece of bone. 
I took my knife intending to perform the operation, but it was 
snatched away from mis. A little later I got hold of another knife, 
and cut across the ball of the thumb, removing as much as was 
necessary ; the worst bleeding was soon over, but the operation 
was a very painful one. I had no means by me of deadening the 
pain, and tried to persuade myself that the hand upon which I was 
performing this surgical operation belonged to .somebody else. 
The wound healed very slowly. The women sprinkled finely- 
powdered sugar on it, and from time to time I had to remove 
the dead flesh with my pocket-knife ; but gangrene set in after 
all. Different remedies were applied, but all seemed useless, 
for the black marks rose as far as the shoulder. Then they 
killed a goat, took out the stomach, and cut it open ; and I put 
my hand into it while it was still warm. This Boer remedy 
succeeded, for when it came to the turn of the second goat my 
hand was already easier, and the danger much less. The wound 
took over six months to heal, and before it was quite closed 
I was out hunting again." Goats' milk is found to be far less 
subject to germs than cows' milk ; it has wonderful nutritive 
properties, and wUl sometimes rescue infants, and invalids, as 
a last resource in diet. " The Indians," says Antient Cymric 
Medicine, " are treated by their native doctors for asthma in 
a remarkable way. Ghee prepared with Goats' milk is given 
to the patient internally, and a Goat is brought into the sick 
person's room three times a day. The patient is directed to 
make use of the animal as a pillow, and to hug it during his 
paroxysms of difficult breathing, then inhaling the strong scent 
of the beast ; and the sick man will within a short while become 
cured of his complaint." From the days of Moses the Goat 
has been accredited with a certain virtue as the carrier away 
of what is evil. Originally, according to the old Jewish ritual, 
on the great day of atonement the sins of the people were 
symbolically laid on the head of a Goat, which was afterwards 
turned out into the wilderness. 



GOOSE. 345 



GOOSE. 



" The flesh of Goose {Anser)" declared The London Pharma- 
copoeia (1696), " is exceedingly hard of digestion, but being 
digested nourishes well ; the liver is of great nutriment ; the 
grease is exceeding hot, and of thin parts, piercing, and dissolv- 
ing." Goose-grease {Adeps anseris) got from a roasted Goose 
is highly emollient, and very useful in clysters ; this readily 
proves emetic. It is chiefly, however, to the liver of Geese 
artificially fattened for its adipose enlargement (this Hver being 
mixed by foreign confectioners with truffles, and various condi- 
ments) regard may be had for helping patients who are atrophied, 
and wasted. Constant heat, and deprivation from water, or 
exercise, develop enormously the fatness, and size of the Goose 
liver, it being a curious fact that charcoal powder helps 
materially towards producing this excessive growth of the said 
liver in size. At Alsace a trough of water, in which pieces of 
wood charcoal remain to steep, is placed in front of the Geese 
under treatment. Liebig taught that charcoal powder will so 
hypertrophize the Goose's liver as to cause finally the death of 
the bird ; by this fatty degeneration the liver becomes surcharged 
with a phosphoric oil. Geese livers in pates, and in terrines, 
with truffles, are now consumed all over Europe. When the 
birds are considered ripe enough of liver enlargement, they are 
killed, and the livers are taken to the truffling house. Meantime 
the carcases, shrivelled out of all knowledge, are sold for about 
oiie shilling apiece to the peasants, who make soup of them. 
The next step is to take each liver (from two to three pounds 
in weight), and to lard it with truffles, half a pound of truffles 
to a pound of Uver ; then to convey it to an icehouse, where it 
must remain on a marble slab for a week so that the truffle- 
perfume may thoroughly permeate its structure. At the end 
of a week each liver, being removed, is cut into the size required 
for the pot which it is to fill, and introduced into that pot between 
two thin layers of mincemeat made of the finest veal, and bacon 
fat, both traffled with the liver itself ; and one inch depth of 
the whitest lard is then spread over the whole so that none of the 
savour may escape in baking, which process takes about five 
hours, the fire being carefully regulated. Nothing remains 
afterwards but to pack the dainty, either in earthenware, wood, 
or tin. With the livers of Ferrara Geese fattened to excess, 



346 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

" exquisite as the food was, did Heliogabalus " (as Smollett 
relates, in Peregrine PicMe) " regale his hounds." Macaulay 
has said in his essay about Horace Walpole : " His writings 
rank as high among the delicacies of intellectual epicures as the 
Strasburg pies among the dishes described in the Almanack des 
Gourmands. But as the PatA de foie gras owes its excellence 
to the diseases of the wretched animal which furnishes it, and 
would be good for nothing if it were not made of livers prseter- 
naturally swollen, so none but an unhealthy, and disorganized 
mind could have produced such literary luxuries as the works 
of Walpole." 

The Truffle (Tuber cibarium) is an edible tuber, of subterranean 
growth, found in the earth, especially beneath beech trees, and 
uprooted by dogs trained for the purpose ; " the tubers have a 
heavy, rank, hercline smell, are of a chestnut colour, and are dis- 
covered not seldom in England." The most famous field for the 
production of Truffles is the old Province of Perigord in France, 
these having a dark skin, and smelling of violets. Piedmontese 
Truffles suggest garlic ; those of Burgundy are a little resinous ; 
the Neapolitan specimens are redolent of sulphur ; and in the 
G-ard department (France) they have an odour of musk. When 
once dug up Truffles soon lose their perfume, and aroma ; 
therefore they are imported bedded in the very earth which 
produced them. At the sight of Truffles, or even the hearing 
their name, a proper French gastronomer is expected to go into 
ecstasies of delight, and admiration ; he knows them as the 
sacrum sacrorum of epicures, the diamonds of the kitchen, and 
by other hyperbolical names. According to Dumas, the Truffle 
says, " Eat me, and adore God." The author of the Physiology 
of Taste ascribes to these tubers such efEects as that "they 
awaken amatory recollections, and, without being positively 
sexual excitants, they will under certain conditions make women 
more loving, and men more amiable." Besides the fragrant 
principles which distinguish its several kinds, the Truffle contains 
cellulose, glucose, pectose, gum, and water ; in its ash phosphoric 
acid, and potash prevail, whilst a very little sulphuric acid may 
also be detected. The name " Truffle " is derived from the 
Italian " Tartufolo," signifying he who hides, or disguises 
himself. Truffles are in season from November to March. 
They are found under oak trees, the range of their area for 
growth being strictly limited to the area covered by the branches. 



GOOSE. Bil 

Two French epicures, not being satisfied with the flavour given 
to the turkey by its stuffing of Truffles for the table, determined 
to try whether this Truffle flavour might not be imparted to the 
bird by a suitable system of diet. They selected a fat young 
turkey, and fed it for two months with the most exquisite 
Truffles that the South of France could produce ; and the turkey 
seemed to enjoy the experiment. At the end of two months 
the bird was killed, roasted with delicate care, and brought upon 
the table. Each of the experimenters eagerly took a wing, and 
found to his disappointment that the turkey had absolutely no 
Truffle flavour whatever. It was thus proved that a diet of 
volatile fragrance does not impart its special flavours to an animal 
kept hving on such diet for a length of time. Evelyn, in his 
Diary (September 30th, 1644), wrote about " a dish of Trufles, 
which is a certaine earth-nut found out by an hogg train'd to it, 
and for which these animals are sold at a greate price." Samuel 
Boyse (whose poem on the Deity is quoted with high praise by 
Feilding) was an improvident writer always in want of money. 
Dr. Johnson generously exerted himself to collect by sixpences 
a sufficient sum for getting Boyse's clothes out of pawn. But 
two days afterwards Boyse had spent this money in some self- 
indulgence, and was found in bed, covered only with a blanket, 
through two holes in which blanket he passed his arms so as 
to write. It appears that when thus impoverished he would 
lay out his last half-guinea to buy Truffles, and mushrooms, 
for eating with his scrap-end of beef. 

Mahometans, and Jews who abjure the use of lard, find in 
countries where butter is scarce a substitute for it in Goose-fat, 
clarified, and made excellent of taste. G-oose oil has long been 
a popidar remedy of sovereign use externally for croup, or a 
swollen throat. The whimsical version of " Old Father WiUiam," 
by Alice, to the Caterpillar, in Wonderland, runs thus : — 

" ' You are old,' said the youth, " and your jaws are too weak 
For anything tougher than suet ; 
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones, and the beak ; 
Pray, how did you manage to do it ? ' 

" ' In my youth,' said his father, ' I took to the law. 
And argued each case with my wife ; 
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw. 
Has lasted the rest of my life.' " 

To prevent indigestion from the richness of a Goose, after 



348 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

cleaning, and trussing it for roasting, rub it all over (inside 
and out) with coarse kitchen salt ; then put into the bird's 
inside two large handfuls of salt ; get a basket woven loosely 
enough at its bottom to let the salt drop through into a pan 
put underneath ; hang up the bird thus prepared in a cool place 
over the pan to catch the salt, and let it remain like this for 
three days ; then before cooking wash the Goose thoroughly 
from the salt, and all the coarse, fatty material comes away in 
the water, whilst the bird's flesh will prove as tender, and 
delicate as that of a. turkey. The male Goose is known as a 
Gander (and a " Goosey Gander " means a blockhead) ; young 
Geese are Goslings, which are called green Geese until about 
four months old ; these were formerly eaten with raisin, or 
crab-apple sauce. Kate Wiggin, in her Diary of a Goose-girl, 
recounts certain characteristics of the bird. "As to going to 
roost, ducks, and Geese, unlike hens, whose intelligence prompts 
them to go to bed at a virtuous hour of their own accord, have 
to be practically assisted, or, I believe, they would roam the 
streets until morning. Never did small boy detest, or resist 
being carried off to his nursery as these dullards, young and 
old, detest, and resist being borne ofE to theirs." 

" An ortolan is good to eat, 
A partridge is of use ; 
But these are scarce, whereas you meet 
At Paris, ay ! in every street, 
A goose ! " 

And yet, as saith an old proverb, " A Goosequill (pen) may be 
more dangerous than a lion's claw ; " though " le moineau en 
la main vaut mieux que Foie qui vole." " A sparrow in the 
hand is worth more than a goose on the wing." 

During the days of middle England, Goose was eaten pickled 
with cloves, and ginger. The fowl is rich in fat. " This fat," 
as Lemery taught (1674), " eases the piles ; and those parts 
of the body which are troubled by rheumatism should be rubbed 
therewith." As is commonly known, sage and onions are the 
usual condiments for stuffing a Goose. That the use of apple- 
sauce with roast Goose is an old custom can be proved by a 
reference to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet : " Thy wit is a 
very bitter sweeting " {i.e., a sweet apple) " it is a most sharp 
sauce, and is it not well served with a sweet Goose ? " In the 
fourteenth century a Goose was often stufied by Italian cooks 



GRAPES. 349 



with garlic, and quinces. The Germans fill this bird with 
apples, and chestnuts, and serve it with red cabbage. On 
July 3rd, Lord's-day (1664), Pepys, as his Diary tells, " went 
to dinner where the remains of yesterday's venison, and a couple 
of brave green Geese, we were fain to eat alone, because they will 
not keep, which troubled us." For a vegetarian dish, " Savoury 
Goose," soak half a pound of brown haricot beans for six or 
eight hours, boil them till tender, and rub through a wire sieve ; 
peel, and chop coarsely three onions, and fry these in butter ; 
mix together the beans, and onions, and add half a pound of 
bread-crumbs, two ounces of butter, two tablespoonfuls of 
finely-chopped sage, four raw eggs beaten up, and salt, and pepper 
to taste. Grease a basin, and pour in the mixture, cover with 
buttered paper, and steam for two hours ; turn it out, and allow 
it to become cold, and to set. Flour a board, and cut into slices 
of two fingers' breadth, and an inch thick ; dip each into beaten-up 
egg, sprinkle all the sides with finely-crushed brown bread- 
crumbs, and fry a golden brown. Serve with brown gravy 
(made with fried onion, lemon-juice, brown sugar, cornflour, 
and water, boiled together), and apple-sauce. 

Gastronomers pronounce a March Goose insipid, and a 
Michaelmas Goose rank. The Hebrews are said to eat more 
Geese than any other class of persons. " Three women and a 
Goose " are supposed to make a market. We have a proverb 
" As wise as a Goose ; " and it is a matter of history that Geese 
saved the Eoman capital. Saint Martin's Day, November 11th, 
when a second little summer is proverbial, stands denoted in old 
almanacks by the sign of the Goose. " Whom all people 
worshippeth with roasted Goose, and wine." The quaint 
Nursery Ehyme with its subtle religious significance, is familiar 
to us all : — 

" Goosey, goosey, gander. 
Whither shall I wander ? 

Upstairs, and downstairs, and to my lady's chamber. 
There I met an old man 
Who wouldn't say his prayers, 
I took him by the left leg. 
And threw him down the stairs." 

GRAPES. 

The principal virtue of grapes is contained in their sugar, which 
differs chemically from cane sugar, and passes more quickly into 



350 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

the bodily system, with speedy combustion as a food. The amount 
of this grape sugar varies according to the greater or less warmth 
of the climate in which the difEerent grapes are grown. Tokay 
grapes are the sweetest ; next are those of Southern France ; 
then of Moselle, Bohemia, and Heidelberg, whilst the fruit of the 
vine in Spain, Italy, and Madeira, is not so well adapted for 
curative purposes. The grape fruit consists of pulp, stones, and 
skin. Within the pulp is contained the grape sugar, together 
with a certain quantity of fruit sugar, which is identical with 
cane sugar. The grape sugar warms (and fattens) speedily, 
being taken up straightway into the circulation without waiting 
to be changed slowly by the saliva ; therefore this grape sugar 
serves to repair the waste of burning fever quickly, and to recruit 
the strength promptly when thereby consumed, grapes being at 
such times most grateful to the sufferer. But for the same 
reason they do not suit inflammatory, or gouty persons under 
ordinary circumstances, as well as foods sweetened with cane 
sugar which has to undergo slower chemical conversion into heat> 
and sustenance. The chief ingredients of grape fruit are tannin, 
gum, bitartrate of potash, sulphate of potash, tartrate of lime, 
magnesia, alum, iron, chlorides of potassium, and sodium, 
tartaric, citric, racemic, and malic acids, some albumin, and 
azotized matters, with water. Grapes can supply but little 
nutritious matter for building up the solid structures of the body. 
Sweet grapes act as gentle laxatives, though the stones, if crushed 
are astringent. When taken in any quantity grapes act freely 
on the kidneys, and promote a flow of urine. The acids of the 
fruit are burnt ofi from their alkaline bases which remain behind, 
and help to neutralise such other gouty acids as they may 
encounter. But for a person in good health, and with sound 
digestion, grapes are excellent to furnish bodily warmth by their 
ready-made sugar, whilst the essential flavours of the aromatic 
fruit are cordial and refreshing. 

Besides being useful against gout by its alkaline base, the 
bitartrate of Potash salt (cream of tartar) in grapes proves of 
remedial use for other afEections. It is reputed to have been 
, of signal curative service in, or against small-pox. Mr. Eose, of 
Dorking, first gave it in 1826, and with remarkable success, 
losing only one case in over a thousand, and that one compli- 
cated with whooping cough. Likewise the son, Mr. Charles 
Eose, later on gave the remedy against small-pox with equally 



GRA PES. 351 



satisfactory effects. In 1863 it was tried by the authorities of the 
Highgate Small-pox Hospital, with the result that they reported 
" it does not seem to do the least good." Yet during the same 
time it was being given at Dorking with a result that the 
mortality there among unvaccinated patients was only 11 per 
cent as against 47 in the Highgate Small-pox Hospital. The 
usual mixture was a quarter of an ounce of the bitartrate of 
potash to a pint of water, taking a wineglassful of this at frequent 
intervals. Later on the same remedy was supplied in the form of 
whey ; half, or three-quarters of an ounce of cream of tartar 
being administered in half a pint of hot, almost boiling milk. 
Mr. Rose came to the conclusion that this was essential in some 
cases, which the other form of the potash salt taken with Turkey 
Rhubarb, failed to benefit. " I am willing," wrote Edward 
Hume to the Liverfool Mercury, 1875, " to forfeit my reputation 
as a public man if the worst cases of small-pox cannot be cured 
in three days simply by the use of an ounce of cream of tartar 
dissolved in a pint of water, and drunk at intervals, when cold, 
as a certain never-failing remedy. It has cured thousands, 
never leaves a mark, never causes blindness, and avoids tedious 
lingering Ulness." 

A limited diet of sweet grapes taken almost exclusively will 
sometimes work wonders for the feeble digestive powers of persons 
rendered weak and bloodless by over- work, or worry ; to eat a 
grape each minute for an hour at a time, three or four times in the 
day, while taking very little else beyond dry bread, will often 
prove highly beneficial in such cases. 

What is known as the Grape Cure is pursued in the Tyrol, 
Bavaria, on the banks of the Rhine, and elsewhere, with two 
objects in view according to the respective cldss of patients. 
Those weakly bloodless persons who are labouring under wasting 
disease, as in chronic catarrh of the lungs, requiring quick supplies 
of animal warmth, and adipose repair, gain special help from 
sweet ripe grapes, being ordered to take these almost exclusively, 
from three to six pounds a day. On the other hand, sufferers 
from torpid biliary functions, sluggish liver, or passive local 
congestions, benefit rather by taking the grapes not fully ripe, 
and not sweet, in moderate allowance ; these latter grapes have 
a diuretic, and somewhat laxative effect, being eaten four or five 
times a day during the promenade ; their reaction is alkaline, 
as aforesaid, therefore suitable for persons troubled with gravel, 
or acid gout. 



352 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

For consumptive persons the ripe, luscious, sweet grapes, 
besides afiording an exceptionally large quantity of warming, 
fattening glucose {i.e. grape sugar), specifically stimulate the lung 
substance to healthier action, and help it to throw off efEete 
matters by thus encouraging the formation of new tissue. During 
the grape cure the fruit if taken on an empty stomach would act 
as a laxative : so that eating them does not begin until after 
breakfast. A hundred pounds weight of ripe, sweet grapes 
include within their pulp as much as thirteen pounds, full weight, 
of the purest glucose ; and because of this abundance the said 
glucose has received, wherever obtained, the comprehensive 
name of grape sugar. Furthermore, the tartaric acid which 
sweet grapes contain plentifully is the basis of several so-called 
" blood-purifying " medicines. Neuralgia and the sleeplessness 
of debility may be materially improved by the sweet grape cure, 
because nutrition is thereby stimulated, and the needful quality 
of good blood restored. 

" Some of the credit," says Dr. Hutchison. " of the results 
attained must be put down to the circumstances under which 
the grape cure is carried out ; seeing that the patient is expected 
to gather the grapes for himself, the doing which entails a certain 
amount of exercise in the open fresh air. Consumptive patients 
are sent to the Gironde for the purpose of breathing-in the vapour 
from the wine vats whilst the grape juice is fermenting, this 
proving to be highly beneficial as a restorative for weakly and 
delicate young persons. The wine-vapour in this district is 
more stimulating, and more curative than in Burgundy. Young 
girls who suffer from atrophy are at first made to remain for some 
hours daily in the sheds whilst the wine-pressing is going forward. 
After a time, aS they become less weak, they are directed to jump 
into the wine press, where they skip about and inhale the fumes 
of the fermenting juice, until they sometimes become intoxi- 
cated thereby, and even senseless. But this effect subsides after 
two or three trials, and presently the girls return to their homes, 
and work, with renewed strength and heightened colour, hopeful, 
joyous, and robust." A stranger on his first visit to the Bodegas, 
or wine vaults of Southern Spain experiences a decided sense of 
exhilaration, with quickening of the pulse, this being followed 
presently by a narcotic effect, with a fefeling of languor and 
headache. According to an authoritative examination (Lancet) 
made of the distillery air it appeared that no less than an ounce 



GRAPES. 353 

of absolute alcohol may be present in five cubic feet of the air. 
From which result it is obvious that a very appreciable amount 
of alcohol would be inhaled during a stay, say of eight hours, 
in such air ; and since the alcohol by the medium of the lungs 
would rapidly get into the general circulation, it cannot but be 
concluded that such air would in the long run produce in per- 
sons habitually respiring it the well known pernicious effects of 
alcoholic excesses. Nevertheless, short systematized dosings with 
such alcoholized air, modified in degree, and properly regulated, 
may be curatively prescribed with safe benefit. The vats of the 
famous Chateau D'Yquem have effected the most wonderful 
cures on this principle, even in cases considered to be past human 
aid. Perhaps a modified pursuance of the inhaling process just 
described might be carried out for suitable cases at our leading 
home breweries ? The fresh sap of the vine {lacryma, a tear) is 
an excellent application to weak eyes, because of its tannin in 
the juices, also for corneal specks. 

The large family of Muscat grapes get their distinctive title, 
not because of any flavour of musk attached to them, but because 
the luscious berries are particularly attractive to flies {muscce). 
" On attrape plus de mouches avec le mid qu 'avec le vin-aigre," 
says a pithy French proverb. Sometimes when eaten to excess 
grapes cause soreness of the tongue, and within the mouth, 
resembling the symptoms of thrush, and honey will act in like 
manner. The sweet grape cure is highly to be commended for 
persons threatened with consumptive mischief in the lungs, 
because of the abundant sugar and the potash salts supplied in 
the fruit. But children as a rule do not bear the grape cure 
satisfactorily. Other fruits, it has been aptly said, " May 
please the palate equally well, but it is the proud prerogative 
of the kingly grape to minister also to the mind." 

Grape sugar as such may be used with benefit for sweeten- 
ing the drinks of patients in fevers, or to mix with their light 
farinaceous foods. Kecipes for grape juice in bottle, for 
grape jelly, grape sauce, and grape jam (" raisine ") are given 
fully in Kitchen Physic. The best grapes wherewith to make 
grape juice for keeping in bottles are of the purple kind. For 
another " grape jam," as made at the Cape, South Africa, take 
four pounds of the fresh fruit, and one pound of sugar. Carefully 
pick the grapes from the bunches, and prick them with a steel, 
or gold pin. Boil a syrup of the sugar, and put the grapes into 

23 



354 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

the syrup whilst boiling. Some sliced apple, or quince, may be 
added to the grapes ; for every pound of the same, one pound 
again of sugar ; also some orange peel cut up may be introduced. 
Boil rather quickly at first. Take out some of the jam, and put 
it in a shallow saucer to cool, so as to see if it will jelly properly. 

It is well worthy of remark with respect to grape juice, that 
whilst it exercises when freshly obtained an inhibiting effect, 
more or less, in typhoid fever on the growth and vitality of the 
typhoid bacillus, as likewise on the colon bacilli which are the 
cause of many forms of acute intestinal ailments, yet the bottled 
grape juice found in grocery stores gives the most conclusive 
experimental results. It should be observed, there is a marked 
difference between the brands of this bottled grape juice. Ex- 
perimentally certain brands have been found to kill the bacilli 
by the end of a minute, such effect being almost instantaneous. 
Moreover the quantity of grape juice required for securing this 
vital object does not disturb the digestion, as lemon juice (also 
destructive to the bacilli) might do. It was found that the 
recently expressed grape juice, prepared in the laboratory, had 
no effect on the bacilli, even in the proportion as high as 100 
per cent. American physicians declare that unfermented grape 
juice, not artificially preserved by mischievous salicylic acid, 
etc., is a grand food for the sick, particularly in fever cases. 
Dr. Foster, of Chicago, reported in the Medical Era, 1886, " grape 
juice has done me this one inestimable service : it has given me 
a food, the only food, which little ones when endangered by wasting 
and febrile diseases, can, or will take, whilst the temperature 
remains high, and the pulse quick." " When I had found a food 
of which a boy four years old would drink one and a half pints 
daily, and ask for more, while he would absolutely refuse all 
other food, I had discovered a means whereby his strength could 
be maintained throughout ten days during a raging scarlet 
fever, and that food saved my little patient's life." Still more 
important has this advice become to-day. Grape juice (easily 
sterilized by a simple, harmless process) is highly beneficial in 
all forms of low wasting disease. 

Grapes are sometimes employed systematically as a means of 
cure for continued diarrhoea : the grape sugar is partly absorbed 
into the system unchanged, and whilst rich in silicates, phos- 
phates, tartrates, and pectin. The skins afford some aromatic 
ethereal oils, and the stones a good deal of tannin ; the grape 



GRAPES. 355 



sugar becomes partly converted into lactic acid. In the Song 
of Solomon occurs the pleasant passage, " the fig tree putteth 
forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a 
good smell : Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." 

With respect to table scraps for the poor (Epicure, 1898), " a 
little ingenuity may often render these tempting, and appetising. 
Half a bunch of grapes, and a couple of spoonfuls of jelly (lemon, 
or wine) left from dinner, do not by themselves look particularly 
attractive, one has to admit ; but just melt the jelly, and set 
the grapes therein, using a small pudding basin, or brawn basin, 
as a mould, and see how glad some sick child will be of the morsel, 
though your servants would probably disdain to touch it. Verily 
the poor may easily be fed with the crumbs which fall from rich 
men's tables, did the rich only know how to utilize such crumbs. 
There are stalls at some of the Paris markets where may be seen 
portions of foods laid out, the relics of dainty dinners from 
restaurants, and large households : a morsel of fish, a simple 
cutlet, a spoonful of bavaroise, all disposed neatly together as one 
of such portions, to be sold for a few sous, under the name of an 
' arlequin.' These scraps in England go to help fill the hog- tub, 
or into the dust-hole, because no one has taken the trouble to 
teach the English oook how she should put away her ' beaux- 
restes ' tidily." 

In countries where the fruit can be successfully dried certain 
kinds of grapes are converted into raisins, always specially 
associated with Christmas time. To quote again the Song of 
Solomon, when the Bride feeling faint cries out, " Stay me with 
' ashishah,' comfort me with apples," the genuine sense of 
this Hebrew word is " raisin-cakes," as long familiar to scholars ; 
and now the revised version pats it, " Stay ye me with raisins, 
comfort me with apples." 

Muscatels are known as " raisins of the sun," because left upon 
the tree to dry in the sunshine before being gathered. Grapes 
can be better cured and dried, because of local conditions, in 
certain parts of Spain than elsewhere, especially near Malaga. 
The Valentia, or pudding raisins, are likewise imported from 
Spain. Sultanas, which are destitute of stones, or seeds, are 
received from Smyrna. " Surpassing even the banana in 
nutritive value (Dr. Hutchison ) is the group of dried fruits 
which includes the raisin, and the date." Raisin-tea is found to 
be of the same proteid value as milk, and much more easily 



356 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

digested, therefore of superior use in many cases of gastric 
disease where milk or soups (vegetable or animal) must be dis- 
allowed. " Take half a pound of good raisins, and wash, them 
well in cold water. Cut them up roughly to free the pulp in 
cooking, and put them into a stewing jar with one quart of cold 
water. Cook for from three to four hours, when the liquid will 
be reduced to one pint. Press all but the insoluble skins, and 
stones, through a fine scalded sieve, and use the tea either hot, 
or cold ; if too sweet a little lemon juice may be added." But the 
tea is scarcely to be advised for meat eaters, as its sweetness might 
induce biliousness. For persons who sufier from coldness of the 
feet, and hands, it is very warming and cherishing. Also stewed 
sultana raisins are restorative when fatigue of body and mind 
are felt, being at the same time mildly laxative. Wash and pick 
one pound of sultanas, soak them all night in cold water ; next 
morning drain off the water, and put the raisins into a pan, or 
basin, and barely cover them with water, add a little grated 
lemon peel, put a plate over the top, and stew them in the oven 
till quite tender, and soft. Some of these, hot or cold, with a 
slice of whole-meal bread, or brown bread, will make a very 
sustaining repast. Dried raisins contain 2J per cent of proteid 
substance, 74 J of heat-forming parts (carbohydrates), 4 of salts, 
and 19 of water. The German doctors used to keep their patients 
whilst under the grape cure almost entirely without other food, 
but now some suitable light nourishment is also allowed, at 
regular times, and even a moderate quantity of Bordeaux wine. 
The sap of the vine is used commonly in Italy for strengthen- 
ing, and improving the hair, increasing and renewing its growth 
even when it has taken to fall out considerably. In the Spring 
when the vines are pruned, a fluid percolates out from the cut 
boughs, which the peasants are careful to collect in little tin 
pots, some time being needed to gather the juice as it oozes out 
by drops. When sufficient has been obtained it is strained through 
muslin, though some of the fibrous substance must be also kept 
in hand, as it helps to do good. Practically the same process 
may be adopted in this country by persons who possess vineries. 
The liquid will keep sweet, and useful for six or eight months, and 
even then it only acquires a sharp odour which is not unwhole- 
some. One sort of grape, the Bourdelas, or Vergus, being 
intensely sour when gceenis never allowed to ripen, but its large 
berries are made to yield their acid liquor for use instead of 



GRUEL. 357 

vinegar, or lemon juice, in drinks, medicines, and sauces. The 
human stomach will tolerate acids which are comparatively 
strong, even of a mineral sort, and these not presently becoming 
alkaline as the vegetable acids do by chemical change. Drs. 
Gould and Pyle record a case (Curiosities of Medicine, 1901) of 
" a bootmaker who constantly took half an ounce of strong 
sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol) in a tumbler of water, saying that 
it relieved his dyspepsia, and kept his bowels open " ; of course 
this was a most exceptional immunity, and a strange power of 
resistance. 

GRUEL. 

In primitive Britain the cereal, and leguminous foods were 
originally eaten unshelled, and uncooked, as testified by the 
extremely ground-down state of our early ancestors' teeth, and 
those of the pre-Saxon inhabitants. But meanwhile in more 
civilized Gaul these foods were advanced to the state of being 
pounded by stones, and in mortars, so as to make a sort of mass 
with water, or milk, — the primitive Gruel. " Rome," said Cato 
of Utica, " was raised upon Gruel." Later on in mid-English 
times Gruel was groat ale, or oatmeal soup, made with malt 
liquor instead of water, and then rendered in base Latin gruellum, 
from grutellum, a diminutive of grutum, meal ; so oatmeal, 
grits, groats. Grout, similarly, was a quondam Danish dish, and 
it is still claimed as an honour by a certain old Danish family to 
carry a platter thereof at a Royal Coronation : — 

" King Hardyknute, midst Danes, and Saxons stout, 
Caroused on nut-brown ale, and dined on grout. 
Which dish its pristine honour still retains, 
And when each prince is crowned in splendour reigns." 

Art of Cookery (1708). 

Again, the True Gentlewoman's Delight (1653) taught how " to 
make Grout " : " Take some wheat, and beanes, and when you 
have made it into malt, then tittle it ; then take some water, 
or some small wort, and heat it scalding hot, and put it into a 
pail ; then stir in the malt ; then take a piece of sower leaven ; 
then stir it about, and cover it, and let it stand till it will cream, 
then put in some orange pills (peels ?), then put it over the fire, 
and boil it, keeping it stirring till all the white be gone." Nowa- 
days Gruel is an invalid preparation for weakly persons of 



858 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

disabled digestion, or to obviate a recent cold, and promote free 
action of the skin, or for infants. It is made by boiling meal, 
or groats, or other farinaceous substance, in water. If nicely 
sweetened with treacle, and taken immediately before going to 
bed, Gruel is an admirable little repast for anyone troubled with 
a cold in the chest, or head. Or, it may be seasoned with salt, 
pepper, spices, herbs, celery seed, shalots, or onions. A good 
Gruel for bowel complaints is to be made with a spoonful of 
ground rice mixed with a pint of milk, and boiled, some cinnamon 
being added, and perhaps Port wine, or Brandy. " Plain Gruel," 
quoth Dr. Kitchener, " is the most comforting soother of an 
irritable stomach we know of." " Water Gruel is the king of 
spoon-meats, the queen of soups, and gratifies nature beyond all 
others. This essence of oatmeal makes a noble, and exhil- 
arating meal." Sir Kenelm Digby wrote in his Closet opened 
(1645) about " Water-gruel " ; " This should be boiled till it 
rises in great ebullition, in great galloping waters ; when the 
upper surface hath no gross visible oatmeal in it, this should be 
then skimmed off, and it will be found much better than the 
part which remaineth below of the oatmeal. Yet even that will 
make good Water-gruel for the servants." Groats is the grain 
of oats freed from its husk, and when crushed forms " Embden 
Groats," as used for making gruel. Likewise barley, arrowroot, 
and flour, or biscuit, will serve for preparing this food. Any 
Gruel should be drunk slowly, so that the starch may become 
mixed with saliva, and thus partially digested before being 
swallowed. For " a pleasant Gruel," " take a small cupful of 
good wheaten bran, and mix this with a little cold water ; then 
stir in two quarts of boiling water into which a bruised stick 
of cinnamon has been put ; let it boil for half an hour till 
sufficiently thick ; strain, and when the Gruel is to be served 
add a teaspoonful of lemon, or orange juice, and as much sugar 
as is liked." But in the making of Gruel sugar is mentioned 
with hesitation, for " a sweet Gruel is an abomination," says 
the Century Invalid Cookery Book. And yet a Gruel containing 
just a little sugar has a pleasanter flavour than one without 
any. It should be noted that the starch of such grain as is 
used in preparing Gruel is not readily digested unless it be well 
cooked. When dear old Mr. Woodhouse, the kindly vale- 
tudinarian paterfamilias, in .Jane Austen's Emma, was visited 
by his married daughter, and her husband, he bade her " go 



HEDGEHOG. ' 359 



to bed early, as she must be tired ; and," said he, " I recom- 
mend to you a little Gruel before you go ; you and I will have 
a nice basin of Gruel together. My dear Emma " (the elder 
daughter), " suppose we all have a little Gruel together ! " 
" Thin Gruel," writes Austin Dobson in a certain Preface, 
" once moved a noble Earl to poetry for a contemporary 
keepsake." Derisively in some of the casual wards of the 
London workhouses the Gruel given to able-bodied paupers 
passes under the name of " Skilly," a word perhaps first derived 
from the skillet (Latin, ScuteUa, a small dish, or plate), which 
vessel was formerly used in heating a drink over the fire. 
From the same word ScuteUa our scullery, or dishery, is 
obtained ; hence also a sculhon, a dish-washer. In Lear's Book 
of Nonsense, so beloved by children, they gain acquaintance with 
an odd dish of the food under notice :^ 

" There was an old person of Ewell 
Who chiefly subsisted on gruel. 
But to make it more nice he inserted some mice, 
Which refreshed that old person of Ewell." 

Oatmeal Gruel may be made by boiling from one to two ounces 
of the meal with three pints of water, down to two pints, then 
straining the decoction, and pouring ofE the thinner liquid when 
cool. Its flavour can be improved by adding split raisins 
towards the end of boiling, or sugar, and nutmeg (grated). To 
" get one's gruel " is a slang term for being severely punished, 
or disabled, or slain, perhaps deservedly. " He shall have his 
gruel, said one." (Guy Mannering, Cap. xxvii). 

HARE (See Game.; 

A PROVERB of our sagacious sires has taught that " He who 
would have a Hare for breakfast must hunt overnight." 

HEDGEHOG. 

Familiar in country districts throughout England is the 
Hedgehog, Hedgepig, or Urchin, a small animal armed with 
prickly spines, being of nocturnal habits, feeding by night on 
insects, and such prey, and sleeping by day under dead leaves, 
or similar herbage. When captured, and domesticated, the 
Hedgehog will clear the kitchen of beetles, cockroaches, mice, 



360 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

and even rats. In the London Pharmacopoeia (1696) it was 
stated : " The flesh roasted makes pleasant meat ; its ashes 
cure dropsies, as well as the bed-wetting, or not holding the 
water." Gypsies have an excellent way of roasting the delicate 
little " Hotchi-witchi " in a ball of clay, which is a slow con- 
ductor of the fire, and defends the small creature's body from 
unsavoury products of charring, whilst the fat, and the gravy 
which ooze out assist, the cooking within the clay. Hedgehog 
pie is a dish which is much relished on the continent. For 
deafness in the head, several old medical authors advise to take 
the drippings from a roast Hedgehog, and put the same to the 
patient's ears so grieved, and stop them with black wool. Quite 
recently the Tramp's Handbook (1903) instructs that " from 
September to January is the season for Hedgehogs, when nice 
and fat, especially at Michaelmas when they have been eating the 
crab-apples which fall from the hedges. Some have yellow fat, 
and some have white fat, so that we calls 'em mutton, and beef 
Hedgehogs ; and very good eating they be, sir, when the fat 
is on 'em." A second recipe for cooking these small creatures 
of the hedgerow, or plantation, is thus explained : " You cut 
the bristles ofE 'em (after they have been fust killed) with a sharp 
knife ; then you sweals 'em (burn them with straw like a bacon 
pig), and makes the rind brown ; then you cuts 'em down the 
back, and spits 'em on a bit of stick pointed at both ends, and 
then you roasts 'em with a strong flare." The little animal 
should first be despatched by a blow on the head, and then 
roasted just as caught ; when it is done the bristles, and skin, 
will come off en bloc, and he is found to be juicy, and full 
of most delicate flavour. In France the Marquis de Cherville 
tells how the foresters on his estate are given to concoct a 
delicious stew made of the Hedgehog, and the Morille {Fungus 
rnervleus), a choice mushroom gathered in the woods. In ancient 
times the Greeks ate Hedgehogs' flesh {Erinaoeus EuropcBus). 

HERB3. 

Besides those edible Herbs which come under notice here 
seriatim, there are several others which may be considered 
collectively, with a more brief, though sufficient, description. 
These are commonly used, or of cultivation for the kitchen, 
whilst likewise embodying curative principles for culinary 



HERBS. 361 



development as foods. John Swann, in his Specidum Mundi 
(1643), swore by " herbs, hot, and drie, or herbs moist, and 
cold : herbs of more than ordinairie properties." 

" Good Lord, how many gaping souls have soap't 
By th' aid of herbs, for whom the grave have gap't. 
'Tis not alone their liquor inbe ta'ne. 
That oft defends us from so many a bane. 
But ev'n their savour, yea, their neighbourhood. 
For some diseases, is exceeding good." 

Valentine, in the Dedication to his Liber Simplicium (Sixteenth 
Century), bore like witness. 

" Herbis, non verbis euro ; sincerus in omni 
Curandi methodo, quem mea praxis habet." 

"By worts, not words, I cure — honest in all my ways." 

As to certain herbs administered for the relief, or cure of ailments 
due to a deficiency of energies, or physical atoms, on the hypo- 
thesis of such herbs possessing correlative energies, and atoms, it 
must be remembered that a plant to be in perfect usefulness 
must find its elective essential elements in the soil producing it ; 
the amount thereof may be exceedingly small, but that amount 
is all-essential to its health, life, and virtues. The very slightest 
secular changes are the occasion, or causes of the greatest 
operations in nature ; and the human body is equally subject 
to parallel laws. The growth of herbs, and plants, is influenced 
by the moon, as well as by the sun. Shakespeare recognized 
this when writing (in Troilus and Cressida) " As true as steel, 
as flantage to the moon, as sun to day ; " which allusion is explained 
in the Discourse of Witchcraft : " The poor husbandman 
perceiveth that the increase of the moon maketh plants fruitful." 
Nor need the outdoor wayfarer in search of health-giving medica- 
ments be ever dependent altogether on any kitchen garden for 
green stuff, and fruits. The hedgerow, and woodland, the 
cUffside, and riverside, the meadow, and heath, will furnish 
blackberries, hips, barberries, dewberries, whortleberries, 
samphire, seakail, wild chicory, sorrel, dandehon leaves, nettles, 
watercress, and, of course, mushrooms, as well as the many 
•other edible fungi now neglected through sheer ignorance. 

" Poscas tandem seger : si sanus negligis herbas. 
Esse cibus nequeunt : at medicamenta erunt." 

" In health, if sallet herbs you won't endure. 
Sick, you'll desire them, or for food, or cure." 

Evelyn (Acetaria). 



362 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Saith John Swann again in Speculum Mundi : " First, concern- 
ing Herbs, I begin with Basil, whose seeds, being mixed with 
shoemakers' black, do take away warts. We in England, though 
we seldom eat it, yet greatly do esteem it because it smelleth 
sweet, and comforteth the brain. But know that weak brains 
are rather hindered than holpen by it ; for the savour is strong, 
and therefore much smelled into procureth the headach ; and 
hath a strong propertie beyond all these, for a certain Italian, 
by often smelling the Basil, had a scorpion bred in his brain, 
and after vehement, and long pain he died thereof. I pray thee, 
gentle reader, bear in mind this tragic tale, and have a care lest 
thou, through over-indulgence in one sweet smell, should turn 
thy brain into the unwilling hostelry of a too lively scorpion ! 
Be discreet in thy generation, and, setting on one side the pot 
of treacherous Basil, gather to thyself great armsful of never- 
dying Borage (called also the ' Cucumber herb ')." The herb 
Basil (Octjmum hasilicum) is often used in cookery, especially by the 
French ; it grows commonly with us in the kitchen garden, but 
dies down every year, so that the seeds have to be sown annually. 
The leaves, when slightly bruised, exhale a delightful odour ; 
they gave the distinctive flavour to the original Fetter Lane 
sausages. The herb furnishes a volatile, aromatic, oamphoraoeous. 
oil, and on this account it is much employed in France for 
flavouring soups, especially mock turtle, and sauces. Dr. 
Kitchener tells, as a useful secret, the value of adding a table- 
spoonful of Basil vinegar to the tureen of mock turtle soup ; 
" this the makers thereof will thank us for teaching." " Basil," 
says Evelyn, " imparts a' grateful taste to sallets, if not too 
strong, but is somewhat ofiensive to the eyes." This sweet 
herb has been immortalized by Keats in his tender, pathetic 
poem of Isabella and the Pot of Basil, founded on a story from 
Boccaccio. George Eliot, in Middlemarch, wrote about one 
of her characters : "He once called her his Basil plant, 
and when she asked for an explanation^ he said that the Basil 
was a herb which had flourished wonderfully on a murdered 
man's brains." 

Balm (Melissa officinalis), so called because of its honied 
sweetness, occurs plentifully in our kitchen gardens, and was 
so highly esteemed by Paracelsus as the " Primum ens MelisscB " 
that he believed it would completely revivify a man. • The 
London Dispensatory of 1696 said : " An essence of Balm given 



HERBS. 36* 

in Canary wine every morning will renew youth, strengthen 
the brain, relieve languishing nature, and prevent baldness." 
Or, a Balm wine containing all the virtues of the fragrant, 
restorative herb may be made thus : Into four gallons of water 
put ten pounds of moist sugar ; boil for more than an hour, 
skimming thoroughly ; then pour into a crock to cool ; place 
a pound and a quarter of Balm tops (bruised) into a small cask 
with a little new yeast, and when the liquor is cool pour it on the 
Balm. Stir them well together, and let the mixture stand for 
twenty-four hours, stirring it frequently ; then close it up,, 
lightly at first, and more securely after fermentation has quite- 
ceased. When it has stood for six or eight weeks, bottle it off, 
putting a lump of sugar into each bottle. Cork the bottle well, 
and keep it for at least a year before putting it into use. Double 
the above quantity may be made at a time if more suitable for 
the requirements. " Balm," adds John Evelyn, " is sovereign 
for the brain, strengthening the memory, and powerfully chasing 
away melancholy." A tea made from the Garden Balm with 
boiling water, and drunk hot, is admirably cordial, and promotes- 
free perspiration on an excess of catarrhal cold, or influenza ; 
but against hysterical, or nervous troubles the tea should be 
made with cold water, so as not to dispel the volatile aromatic 
virtues of the herb. Formerly a spirit of Balm, combined with 
lemon-peel, nutmeg, and angelica root, enjoyed a great restorative 
reputation under the name of Carmelite water, being highly useful 
against nervous headache, and neuralgic afiections. It is fabled 
that the Jew Ahasuerus (who refused a cup of water to our 
Saviour on his way to Golgotha, and was therefore doomed to 
wander athirst until Christ should come again) on a Whitsuntide 
evening begged for a draught" of small beer at the door of a 
Staffordshire cottager, who was then far advanced in consumptive 
disease of the lungs. He got the drink, and out of gratitude 
advised the sick man to gather from his garden three leaves 
of Balm, and to put them into a mug of beer. This was to be 
repeated as a draught every fourth day throughout twelve days, 
the refilUng of the cup to be continued as often as desired, and 
" then thy disease shall be cured, and thy body shall be altered." 
So saying, the Jew departed, and was never seen there again. 
But the cottager fulfilled his injunctions, and at the end of 
twelve days had become a sound man. The word Balm is an 
abbreviation of " Balsam," the chief of sweet-smelling oils. 



364 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

Oerarde has told that " the juice of Balm glueth together greene 
wounds;" and " the leaves," say Pliny, and Dioscorides, " being 
applied do close up wounds without any perill of inflammation." 
It is now understood as a scientific fact that the balsamic oils 
of aromatic plants make excellent surgical dressings ; they give 
off ozone, and thus exercise anti- putrescent effects ; moreover, 
being chemical hydrocarbons, they contain so little oxygen 
that in wounds dressed with the fixed balsamic herbal oils the 
atomic germs of disease are starved out. Furthermore, the 
resinous parts of these balsamic oils as they dry upon the sore, 
or wound, seal it up, and effectually exclude all noxious air. 
Thus the essential oils of Balm, Peppermint, Lavender, and 
similar herbs, as well as Pine Oil, the resin of Turpentine, and 
Benzoin (Friar's Balsam), should serve admirably for ready 
application, on lint, or soft fine rag, to cuts, and superficial sores. 
A couple of hundred years ago pancakes were made whilst 
using the herb Coltsfoot [Tussilago farfara), and fried with Sage 
butter. " Hark ! I hear the Pancake bell," said poor Richard, 
making allusion thereto in his Almanack (1684). It is said that 
the Pancakes particular to Shrove Tuesday were originally 
appointed to be made then so as to dispose of the dripping and 
fat remaining over from the prolonged Christmas festivities, 
before the advent of the Penitential Fast. The bell rang for 
Confessional in every Church throughout England in Catholic 
times on the morning of Shrove Tuesday. 

" It is a day whereon both rich and poore 

Are chiefly feasted on the selfsame dish ; 
When every paunch till it can hold no more 

Is fritter-filled as well as beast can wish; 
And every youth and maid do take their turn. 

And tosse their pancakes up for fear they burn, 
And all the kitchen doth with laughter sound 

To see the pancake fall upon the ground." 

In our day the modern confectioner provides Coltsfoot Rock, 
concocted in fluted sticks, of a brown colour, as a sweetmeat, 
flavoured with some essential oil, as of Anise, or Dill. The herb 
Coltsfoot, which grows abundantly throughout England, 
especially along the sides of our railway banks, has been justly 
termed " nature's best herb for the lungs, and her most eminent 
thoracic." Its very name suggests this virtue, — tussis, a cold, 
ago, I dispel. All parts of the plant contain tannin, with a 
special bitter principle, and free mucilage. Coltsfoot tea can 



HERBS. 365 

be usefully made from the leaves, so strong as to be sweet, and 
glutinous ; liquorice root, and honey may be added, and a 
decoction prepared therefrom if preferred. The older authors- 
named this plant " Filius ante patrem," (the son before the 
father), because the starlike golden flowers appear, and wither, 
before the broad sea-green leaves are produced, and become 
conspicuous. 

It is useful, and pleasant, to know that for sound physical* 
reasons a moderate supper of bread and butter, with crisp, fresh 
lettuces (perhaps also a spring onion or two), and light, home- 
brewed ale made with Hops, is admirably calculated to promote- 
healthy sleep (except for a full-blooded, plethoric person, who- 
should fare otherwise). 

The Hop (Humulus lupulus) grows wild in our hedges, and 
copses, with only male flowers ; but when cultivated in the 
Hop garden it produces also the female catkins, or strobiles,, 
which are commonly known as Hops, and are largely used for 
brewing purposes. The Hop was employed by the Saxons, 
and was imported into England from Flanders (1524). Soon 
afterwards a petition was presented to Parliament against the- 
use of Hops, describing the plant as " a wicked weed which will 
spoil the taste of drink, and endanger the people." Persons, 
have fallen into a deep sleep after remaining for some while in 
a storehouse of Hops. " Hops," says Evelyn, in his Pomona 
(1670), " transmuted our wholesome ale into beer, which 
doubtless much altered our constitutions. This one ingredient,, 
by some suspected not unworthily, preserves the drink indeed, 
but repays the pleasure with tormenting diseases, and a shorter 
life." The " hops," or chafiy capsules of the flower seeds, turn 
brown early in the autumn ; they possess a heavy, fragrant,, 
aromatic odour, and a very bitter, pungent taste. The yellow 
glands at the base of their scales afford a volatile, strong-smelling, 
oil, and an abundant yellow powder (lupulin) which possesses 
most of the virtues owned by the plant. Various Simples may 
be made from the Hop (such as Hop tea. Hop wine, and the 
Lupulin given in powder), each of which will ease pain, and lull 
to sleep. Hop tea is an excellent drink in delirium tremens ; 
also it will give ease to an irritable bladder. Sherry in which 
Hops have been steeped is a capital stomachic cordial. And a 
pillow stufEed with newly -dried Hops was successfully prescribed 
by Dr. Willis for our King George the Third when sedative. 



366 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

medicines had failed to give him sleep ; as likewise for our present 
King, when Prince of Wales, at the time of his severe attack of 
typhoid fever (1871), it being then used in conjunction with a 
most grateful draught of ale which had been previously withheld. 
The young tops of the Hop plant, if gathered in the spring, and 
boiled, may be eaten as asparagus ; they were formerly brought 
to market tied up in small bundles for table use. The Hop is 
tonic, and acts on the kidneys, besides having antiseptic 
properties. " Les jets de hovhlon " (says VArt Cidinaire) are 
the spring vegetable jjar excellence in Belgium ; the young sprouts 
are boiled in salted water, with a squeeze of lemon-juice, and 
served " au ieurre," or " a la cre,me.^' A poached egg is the 
unfailing accompaniment : you cannot realize the one without 
the other. Hops, and poached eggs, are the Orestes and 
Pylades of the Belgian cuisine. If boiled in water, with a little 
•salt, pepper, and vinegar, Hop sprigs, tips, or points, make a 
nice, wholesome salad when cold. For the severe morning 
sickness of pregnant women, to drink freely of Hop tea (an ounce 
of the Hops to a pint of boiling water) will afford great relief ; 
or a glass of bitter ale will ward off the attacks. 

In Norfolk scarcely a cottage garden can be found without 
its Horehound corner, and Horehound beer is commonly drunk 
there by the natives. Again, Candied Horehound is a sweetmeat 
made by our confectioners from the fresh plant, by boiling it 
down until the juice is extracted, and then adding sugar before 
boiling this again till it has become thick enough of consistence 
to be poured into a paper case, and to be cut into squares when 
sufficiently cool. The plant White Horehound (Marrubium) 
is found growing in waste places, or is cultivated in the herb 
garden, being of popular use for coughs, and colds. It has a 
musky odour, and a bitter taste, affording chemically a fragrant 
volatile oil, a bitter extractive, " marrubin," and gallic acid. 
Its preparations are specially useful for coughs accompanied 
with copious thick phlegm ; also for chronic bronchial asthma. 
Gerarde has said : " Syrup made from the greene, fresh leaves, 
with sugar, is a most singular remedy against the cough, and 
wheezing of the lungs. It doth wonderfully, and above credit, 
■ease such as have been long sicke of any consumption of the 
lungs, as hath been often proved by the learned physicians of 
•our London College." 

" Just within recent times," according to Albert Broadbent, 



HERBS. 367 

" our garden plant, familiar particularly to all lovers of the 
National Eoast Beef, — ^Horse Radish (Cochlearia armoracia) — 
has come to desei-ve specially well from the British public." 
Grated Horse Radish, if eaten at frequent intervals during the 
day, and likewise at meals, is found remarkably efficacious for 
getting rid of the persistent distressing cough which lingers 
after influenza. The root of Horse Radish contains sulphur, 
a volatile oil, a bitter resin, sugar, starch, gum, albumin, and 
acetates. Chemically its volatile oil is identical with that of 
mustard, being highly diffusible, and pungent, because of the 
" myrosin." One drop of this most volatile oil will suffice to 
odorize the atmosphere of a whole room. The root is expectorant, 
anti-scorbutic, and, if taken too freely, emetic. That it contains 
a somewhat large proportion of sulphur is shown by the black 
colour given to silver, and other metals with which it comes in 
contact. Because of this constituent the plant proves serviceable 
in chronic rheumatism, and for remedying scurvy. Bergius 
alleges that by cutting the root into very small pieces, without 
bruising it, and then swallowing a tablespoonful of these segments 
every morning without chewing them, throughout three or four 
weeks, a cure has been effected of chronic rheumatism which 
had proved intractable by all else which was tried. The 
sulphuretted oil is crystallizable. As to an outward use of 
Horse Radish, Gerarde has said about the root : " If bruised, 
and laid to a part grieved with the sciatica, gout, joynt-ache, 
or the hard swellings of the spleen, and liver, it doth wonderfully 
help them all." The botanical name Cochlearia implies a resem- 
blance between the leaves of the plant and an old-fashioned 
spoon, cochleare. Formerly it was named Moxmtain Radish, 
and Great Raifort, (as now styled in France,) or Cran. When 
scraped it exhales a nose-provoking odour, and possesses a 
hot, biting taste, combined with a certain sweetness ; on 
exposure to the air it quickly changes colour, and loses its volatile 
strength. Taken by itself, or in a plain sauce (but not being 
boiled) with oily fish, or ricn, fatty viands, scraped Horse Radish 
acts as a spur to complete digestion thereof ; at the same time 
it can benefit a relaxed sore throat by contact during the swallow- 
ing. When sliced across with a knife the root will exude some 
drops of a sweet juice which may be rubbed beneficially into 
rheumatic, or palsied limbs. An infusion of Horse Radish, 
sliced, or bruised, in cold water makes an excellent gargle, which 



3G8 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

should be sweetened with honey, or glycerine. Also an infusion 
of sliced Horse Radish in milk, forms, by virtue of its contained 
sulphur, and by its stimulating pungency, an excellent cosmetic 
for the skin when lacking clearness, and freshness of colour. 
A mixture of recent Horse Radish juice, with white vinegar, 
will, if applied externally, do much towards removing freckles. 
When indolent pimples with a white head (acne) affect the skin, 
particularly at puberty, if each of these is touched now and again 
with some compound spirit of Horse Radish from the chemist, 
then the several pimples will be aborted, and will be dispersed 
without giving further trouble. For a relaxed throat, with loss 
of voice, a strong syrup of Horse Radish may be concocted, 
some of which should be mixed with water (a teaspoonful thereof 
to a wineglassful of cold water), and used freely as a gargle. 
Again, if the scraped root is macerated in vinegar it will form 
a mixture which, when sufficiently diluted with water, and 
sweetened, with glycerine, will give marked relief in whooping- 
cough of children, the dose being from one to two dessertspoonfuls 
according to age. Care should be had not to mistake poisonous 
aconite root for Horse Radish root when digging it up ; the two 
roots really differ in shape, and colour ; furthermore, aconite 
leaves, if present, cannot be easily mistaken for those of any 
other plant, being completely divided to their base into five 
wedge-shaped lobes, which are again subdivided into three. 
Scraped Horse Radish, if appUed to recent chilblains, and secured 
with a light bandage, will help to cure them. For facial 
neuralgia some of the fresh scrapings, if held in the hand of the 
afiected side, will give rehef, the hand becoming in some cases 
within a short time bloodlessly white, and benumbed. When 
infused in wine, Horse Radish root will stimulate the whole 
nervous system, and promote perspiration, whilst acting further 
to excite a free flow of urine. If applied topically for pleuritic 
pain in the side, the bruised root will mitigate such pain. 

For making Gill tea, which is popular in rural districts against 
a cough of long standing, the common and very familiar little 
herb. Ground Ivy (Nepeta glechoma) deserves notice from a 
culinary point of view. It is endowed also with singular 
curative virtues against nervous headaches, and for the relief of 
chronic bronchitis. " Medicamentum hoc non satis potest laudari : 
si res ex usu OBStimarentur, aura cequiparandum est." The small 
Ivy-like aromatic leaves, and the striking whorls of dark blue 



HERBS. 360 

blossoms which characterize this fragrant plant are conspicuous 
in early springtime about the bottom of almost every hedgerow 
throughout our country. It is gifted with a balsamic odour due to 
its particular volatile oil, and its special resin. For making a tea 
of this Ground Ivy : one ounce of the bruised fresh herb should 
be infused in a pint of boiUng water, and a wineglassful thereof, 
when cool, should be taken three, or four times in the day. The 
whole plant was employed by our Saxon progenitors for clarifying 
their so-called beer, before hops had been introduced for this 
purpose. The Ground Ivy thus acquired its allied titles " Ale- 
hoof," and " Tun-hoof." Other names which it commonly 
bears are " Gill go by the ground," " Haymaids," " Catsfoot," 
and " Lizzy run up the hedge." Gill tea, as brewed by country 
persons, is sweetened with honey, sugar, or liquorice. The 
expressed juice of the herb is usefully astringent against bleedings. 
" Boiled in mutton broth," says Gerarde. " it helpeth weak, and 
aching backs." Dr. Pitcairn extolled this plant before all other 
vegetable medicines for curing consumptive diseases of the lungs. 

In the Organic Materia Medica, of Detroit, U.S.A., 1890, it is 
stated " Painters use the Ground Ivy as a preventive of, and 
remedy for lead colic. A wineglassful of the freshly made 
infusion, or tea, is to be given repeatedly." Said Dr. Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, in his farewell address to the medical students 
at Boston College, " there is no form of lead poisoning which 
more rapidly, and more thoroughly pervades the blood, bones, 
and marrow than that which reaches the young author through 
mental contact with type-metal. ' Qui a bu hoirra,^ ' He wh» 
has once drunk will drink again,' tells a French proverb. So, 
the man, or the woman who has tasted type is sure to resume the 
seductive indulgence, sooner or later. In my early college days, 
a students' periodical, conducted by some undergraduate friends 
of mine, tempted me into print. Such was my first attack of 
author's lead-poisoning, and I have never quite got rid of it from 
that day to this." A snuff made from the dried leaves of the 
Ground Ivy will render marked relief against a dull congestive 
headache of the passive kind. Succus kujus flanlm naribus 
attr actus cephalalginm etiam vehementissimam et inveteratam non 
lev/it tariium, sed et penitus aufert. The herb remaineth green, 
not only in summer, but also in winter, at all times of the year. 

In earlier English days the herb Lavender was used, and 
deservedly, as a rare condiment of cordial virtues, and welcome 

24 



370 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



aroma for flavouring dishes, and comforting the stomach ; but 
at present its domestic service is solely for fragrance, and for 
scenting the household linen. Nevertheless, Lavender water 
as a spirit comes into handy appliance for a restorative against 
faintness, palpitations, or spasms. It proves refreshing to the 
sense of smell, and, if taken as a speedy stimulant, dispels flatulence 
■whilst reviving the spirits. The sweet-smelling shrub is grown 
largely for market purposes in Surrey, Hertfordshire, and 
Lincoln, affording its essential oil from the flowering tops. These 
" spikes " of Lavender contain tannin, and a resinous camphor. 
Ordinarily the Lavender water of commerce is a misleading 
compound of various scents. During the twelfth century a 
washerwoman was ordinarily known in the north as a Lavenderess, 
whence comes our name Laundress. " I'll now lead you," 
says Piscator, in Walton's Corn-pleat Angler (1653), " to an honest 
ale-house, where we shall find a cleanly room. Lavender in the 
window, and twenty ballads stuck about the wall." Again, 
" a match, good master ! let's go to that house, for the linen looks 
white, and smells of Lavender : and I long to be in a pair of 
sheets that smell so." This tavern was probably the " Angler's 
Inn," near Hoddesdon, Herts, called then the " Rye House." 
Charles Lamb pronounced, " It might sweeten a man's temper 
at any time to read the Comfleal Angler." Conserves of Lavender 
were served at table in Gerarde's day. This fragrant herb is 
hostile by its powerful aromatic odour to pestilent flies, fleas, 
and other such troublesome insects which assail the person. 
Even, say the Reliquice Antiques, " Flys populum Domini coedunt " 
— " Fleas afflict the people of the Lord ! " It is told on good 
authority that the lions, and tigers, in our Zoological Gardens 
are strangely afiected by the smell of Lavender, and become 
docile under its influence. A tea brewed of moderate strength 
from Lavender tops is excellent for relieving headache from 
fatigue, or exhaustion ; also to mop the temples with Lavender 
water. Again, for palsied limbs, friction with a spirit of Lavender 
will powerfully stimulate towards restoring the use thereof. 
" It profiteth them much," says Gerarde, " that have the palsy 
if they be washed with the distilled water from the Lavender 
flowers, or are anointed with the oil made from the flowers, and 
olive oil, in such manner as the oil of Roses is used." 

" In each bright drop there is a spell, 
'Tis from the soil we love so well, 
From English gardens won." 



HERBS. 371 

Fifty-six pounds of Lavender will yield exactly one pound of 
the liquid perfume. 

Liquorice, or Licorice, as formerly called, is a plant-product 

familiar to us all, whether by the succus hardened into the 

well-known black stick of Spanish juice, or as made into lozenges, 

or Pontefract tablets, or as the pipe Liquorice of the sweet-stufE 

shops. The Liquorice plant is grown abundantly at Mitcham, 

near London, for supplying our markets, the roots being dug 

up after a three-years' cultivation. But the search of Diogenes 

for an honest man was scarcely more difficult than would be 

that of an average person for genuine prepared Liquorice ; this 

is because the juice is adulterated to any extent, and there is 

no definite standard of purity for the article now so commonly 

used. Potato starch, millers' sweepings mixed with sugar, and any 

kind of such rubbish are employed as adulterants. The Chinese 

make much use of the Liquorice root, and its juice, which they 

regard as rejuvenating, and very nutritious. " In their drug 

stores," says the Kew Bulletin (1899), " one can generally obtain 

a panacea for all bodily ills, this varying in the number of its 

ingredients according to the price paid, twenty-five, thirty-five, 

or fifty cents. Such a prescription usually contains a few slices 

of Liquorice root [GlycyrrMza), with the dried flowers of some 

composite plant, dried cockroaches, dried cockchafers, and the 

skin, with head, and tail, of a lizard stretched on thin sticks. 

An extra five cents will procure a dried sea-horse ; and yet 

another five cents a dried fish of peculiarly narrow shape, and 

about four inches long. All these are boiled together, and the 

decoction drunk as a remedy for heartburn, toothache, cough, 

dimness of sight, and almost any other ailment. The vegetable 

portion of one of these mixtures has been examined at Kew. 

Among the medicaments recognized were the fruit-heads of a 

species of Eriocaulon, which has a reputation in China for curing 

various diseases, such as ophthalmia, nose-bleeding, and some 

affections of the kidneys. Other vegetable ingredients were 

likewise botanically recognized, and identified. Liquorice is 

commonly employed as a pectoral in coughs, and hoarseness. 

Chemically the root from which it is obtained affords a special 

sort of sugar, glycynhizine, a demulcent starch, asparagin, 

phosphate,, and malate of lime, and magnesia, a resinous oil, 

albumin, and woody fibre. The extract is largely imported, 

that described as Solazzi juice being most highly esteemed, 



372: MEALS MEDICINAL. 

which conies to us in cylindrical, or flattened rolls enveloped 
in bay leaves. The sugar of Liquorice may be safely taken 
by diabetic patients. By far and away the best Liquorice 
lozenges (for inducing quiet sleep, and agaimt constipation), 
are those of old fashion still to be obtained as the 
manufacture of " Smith," in the Borough, London ; not the 
pilules. Old Fuller wrote respecting Nottingham : " This 
county afEordeth the first, and best Liquorice in England ; great 
is the use thereof in physick. A stick of the same is commonly 
the spoon prescribed to patients to use in any loaches. If (as 
the men of iEneas were forced to eat their own trenchers) these 
chance to eat their spoons, their danger is none at all." Liquorice 
is likewise used in various other articles of confectionery, in 
brewing, and to be mixed with tobacco : — 

" But first he cheweth greyn, and lycorys 
To smellen sweete." 

Miller's Tale. — Chaucer. 

Another favourite pot herb grown in the kitchen garden is 
Sweet Marjoram, of which the generic title Origanum signifies 
" Joy of the mountains." This plant furnishes an essential, 
fragrant, volatile oil which is cordial, warming, and tonic. 
" Organ," says Gerarde, " is very good against the wambling 
of the stomacke, and stayeth the desire to vomit, especially at 
sea. It may be used to good purpose for such as cannot brooke 
their meate." Externally the herb has been successfully 
employed against scirrhous tumours of the breast. Murray 
writes : " Tumores mammarum dolentes scirrhosos herba recens. 
viridis, per tempus applicata, fdiciter dissipavit." The essential 
oil, when long kept, assumes a solid form, and was at one time 
much esteemed for being rubbed into stifi joints. A tea brewed 
from the fresh herb will relieve headache of a nervous hysterical 
nature. 

Several kinds of the Mints have been used medicinally from 
the earliest times, such as Pennyroyal, Peppermint, and Spear- 
mint ; each of which, though growing wild in wet and marshy 
wastes, is cultivated in our herb gardens for kitchen purposes. 
Their flowering tops are all found to contain a certain portion 
of cainphor. The Mint plant was -eaten gaily of old, with 
many a joke, because said to have been originally a pretty girl 
metamorphosed by Persephone. The Pennyroyal {Mentha 
pulegium) was formerly known as Pudding grass, from being 



HERBS. 373 

used in making stuffing for meat, in days when such stuffing 
was called a pudding. 

" Let the corporal 
Come sweating under a breast of mutton stuffed with pudding." 

Old Play. 

Treadwell tells that the Pennyroyal was especially put into 
hogs' puddings, which were composed of flour, with currants, 
and spices, stuffed into the entrail of a hog. The fresh herb 
Pennyroyal yields about 1 per cent of a volatile oil containing 
oxygen, with other diffusible matters. Folk talk in Devonshire 
of " Organ broth," and " Organ tea," which are much in favour 
with women. The oil of Pennyroyal, if applied externally, will 
promptly relieve severe neuralgic pain. Dryden, in Ovid's 
Metamorphoses, writes to this effect : — 

" They rubbed it o'er with newly-gathered mint, 
A wholesome herb that breathed a grateful scent." 

" Organ tay," say the Devonshire peasants, " sweentened wi' 
'oney is a cabbical cure vur a cold ef yii putt'th a drap ov 
zometheng short in't." " Hill wort " was another old name 
of the herb. 

Peppermint (Mentha piperita), or " Brandy Mint," is of 
universal acquaintance among all classes through its " sweeties," 
drops, lozenges, and comforting, fragrant " water," being 
" familiar in our mouths as household words." The herb is 
so called because of its peppery, pungent taste, and smell. 
Preparations of Peppermint when swallowed diffuse warmth 
in the stomach, acting as carminative stimulants, with some 
considerable power of allaying the distress of colic, flatulent 
distension, spasm, or oppressive food. This is through the 
potent volatile oil, of which the herb yields 1 per cent as Mint 
camphor. 

" Anise and mint, with strong jSlolian sway 
Intestine storms of flatulence allay." 

There are two sorts of the Peppermint herb— black, and white — 
of which the first furnishes the most, but not the best oil. As 
an antiseptic and destroyer of germs, this oil is rerna.rkably 
efficacious ; on which account it is advised for inhalation by 
consumptive patients, so that the volatile preservative vapour 
may reach remote diseased parts of the ultimate lung passages, 
and may heal by destroying the morbid germs which are keeping 



374 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



up mischief therein. A simple respirator for inhaling the oil 
vapour can be made with a small square of thin, ductile, 
perforated zinc plate, bent, and adapted as a little funnel, 
widely' c>pea at top to the shape of the mouth, and nostrils, but 
without any free side apertures ; and within the narrow end of 
which funnel may be secured a small pledget of sponge, or 
absorbent cotton-wool, for frequent saturation with from twenty 
to thirty drops of a spirituous essence of Peppermint made with 
the oil, and spirit. This quantity of the essence should be 
dropped on the sponge each night, and morning, whilst the 
apparatus is to be worn over the mouth, and nostrils, (by tapes 
at its sides to tie over the head) all day, except at meals. The 
oil, and the essence are of an agreeable odour in a room, and 
are absolutely harmless. In France continuous inhalations of 
Peppermint oil (either by itself, or combined with oil of tar) 
have come into approved use with much success, even when 
cavities are present in the lungs, with copious expectoration 
of the consumption microbes. The cough, the night-sweats, 
and. the heavy phlegm have been arrested, whilst the nutrition, 
and the weight have steadily increased. " Peppermint " (Dr. 
Hughes) " should be more largely employed than it is in coughs, 
especially in a dry cough, however caused, when it seems to 
act specifically as a cure. It will reUeve in this way even the 
persistent hectic cough of a consumptive patient." Unhealthy 
external sores may be cleansed, and their healing promoted 
by being dressed with strips of soft rag dipped in sweet oil to 
each ounce of which two or three drops of oil of Peppermint have 
been added. The oil, or the essence of Peppermint can be used 
of any strength, and in any quantity, without the least harm to 
a patient. It checks the discharge of unhealthy matter when 
appUed to a sore, or wound, whilst exercising a salutary antiseptic 
efEect. " Altogether " (as Dr. Braddon writes) " the oil of 
Peppermint forms the best, safest, and most agreeable of known 
antiseptics." 

For obviating mosquito bites, the ablutionary use of 
Peppermint soap all over the body, or, in default thereof, 
employing soft soap with which a few drops of oil of Peppermint 
have been mixed, will prove efficacious. " Take a little of this," 
says an experienced traveller, " into the hands with some water, 
then wash therewith the face, the body throughout, and the 
hands, and let it dry- on every part likely to be exposed to 



HERBS. 375 



mosquito bites." Continental pathologists have found oil of 
Peppermint highly useful as an internal antiseptic for correcting 
poisonous intestinal products given off when fsecal matters are 
detained within the bowels so long as to undergo corrupt putre- 
factive changes, because of persistent constipation. Various 
skin troubles may result from this cause, such as nettle-rash, 
mattery pimples, itching, and erysipelatous redness, whilst 
severe general neurotic rheumatism may eventually ensue until 
the difficulty is obviated. When crystallized into a solid form 
as " menthol," the oil, if rubbed over the skin surface of a 
painful neuralgic part, will give speedy, and marked relief, 
as for frontal headache, tic doloureux, facial toothache, and other 
such grievous troubles. Distilled Peppermint water should be 
always preferred medicinally, from half to one wineglassful at 
a time. The stronger, and smaller Peppermint lozenges supplied 
by chemists are of excellent use when sluggishness of the 
intestines causes detention within them of the torpid food mass, 
with putrescent changes, and the giving off of noxious gases for 
absorption into the body. Two of these lozenges should be 
then sucked slowly a couple of hours after each more substantial 
meals of the day. They will serve to act in this manner as 
preventive of appendicitis from a similar cause. For making 
" Peppermint drops," take two cupfuls of granulated sugar, 
half a cupful of cold water, and a tiny pinch of cream of 
tartar. Boil these together for ten minutes, without stirring, 
and let the sugar melt slowly so that it may not burn. Add 
eight (for the stronger Peppermints twelve) drops of oil of 
Peppermint while the mixture is still on the fire. When 
removed from the stove mix with an egg-beater until it falls 
in long drops, then drop quickly on oiled paper. 

As an antiseptic snuff for use on the first access of a 
cold in the head, or against attacks of hay-fever, menthol (in 
combination with some cocaine ?) is found to be promptly, and 
preventively useful. How glad Sydney Smith would have been 
to learn this fact ! When victimized by hay-fever (in June, 
1835) he wrote as follows to the famous Sir Henry Holland, from 
Combe Florey : " I am suffering from my old complaint, the 
hay-fever (as it is called) ; my fear is perishing by dehquescence. 
I melt away in nasal, and lachrymal profluvia. My remedies are, 
warm pediluvium, cathartics, and topical application of a watery 
solution of opium to eyes, ears, and the interior of the nostrils. 



376 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

The membrane is so irritable that light, dust, contradiction, 
an absurd remark, the sight of a dissenter, anything sets me 
sneezing ; and if I begin sneezing at twelve I don't leave off 
till two o'clock, and am heard distinctly in Taunton, when the 
wind sets that way, a distance of six miles. Turn your mind 
to this little curse." 

Spear Mint {Mentha viridis), or Garden Mint, is an allied 
herb which is of popular use for making Mint sauce, to be eaten 
with roast lamb. It likewise possesses a fragrant aromatic odour, 
and a warm, spicy taste ; bearing the name also of " Mackerel 
Mint," and in Germany of " Lady's Mint." Its volatile oil 
makes this herb antiseptic, and conducive to the better digestion 
•of young immature meat, whilst the vinegar and sugar added 
in Mint sauce, hdp forward the solution of crude albuminous 
jfibre. But, as is well said, " Mint often makes lamb out of an 
old sheep." Mint sauce was described by Tusset, and blest by 
Cobbett. Dr. Hayman has supposed it to historically reflect 
the bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover. When some fresh 
leaves of this herb are macerated in milk the curdling thereof 
is slower than if the milk clots by itself ; therefore Spear Mint, 
or its essence, is much to be commended for use with milk 
foods by delicate persons, and for young children of feeble 
digestive powers. A distilled water of Spear Mint is made 
which will relieve hiccough, and flatulence, as well as the 
giddiness of indigestion, wherefore Martial called the herb 
" Ructatrix mentha." " This is the Spear Mint," writes our 
Poet Laureate, " that steadies giddiness." The name Spear, 
or Spire, indicates the spiry form of its floral blossoming. 
Washington Irving, in Knickerbocker, speaks of New Englanders 
who " were great roysterers, much given to revel on hoe- 
cakes, and bacon, Mint julep, and apple-toddy." Julep is 
an ancient Arabian name for a calming drink (originally 
containing opium, with mucilage), and possibly connected with 
the Persian " salep " made from bulbs of an orchis. Culpeper 
wrote : " The Mints are extreme bad for wounded people ; and 
they say a wounded man that eats Mints his wound will never 
be cured, but that is a long day." Nevertheless, modern 
experience teaches that the Mints are to be credited with 
terebinthine antiseptic healing virtues, notably peppermint, 
rosemary, and thyme. " As for the Garden Mint," wrote Pliny, 
" the very smell of it alone recovers, and refreshes the spirits, 



HERBS. 377 



much as the taste stirs up the appetite for meat, which is the 
reason that it is so general in our acid sauces wherein we are 
accustomed to dip our meat." 

Our table Mustard, which flanks English roast beef, and 
other rich viands, is made from the seeds of a herb originally 
wild on waste places in this country, but now cultivated, the 
Sinapis, both black, and white. It is the black Mustard which 
yields the condiment of the mustard pot, and the pungent yellow 
flour which we employ for the familiar stimulating poultice, 
or sinapism. The virtues of this black Mustard depend on an 
acrid volatile oil comprised in the seeds, which is combined with 
an active principle containing sulphur abundantly; as shown 
by the discoloration of a silver spoon if left in contact with 
Mustard made for the table, a black sulphuret of silver being 
formed. The chemical basis is " sinnigrin," with myronic 
acid. The acridity of the oil is modified in the seeds by being 
combined with another fixed oil of a bland nature which can be 
readily separated by pressure, and which will promote the growth 
of hair if employed as a mild pomade ; it may be used also exter- 
nally with friction for relieving rheumatic stifEness of muscles. 

Mustard flour is a capital antiseptic, and sterilizing agent. 
Admixture with vinegar will check the development of pungency 
in Mustard made for the table, so that this practice is now 
discontinued. Probably the Romans, who were great eaters 
of Mustard seed, pounded, and steeped in new wine (mustum), 
brought the condiment with them to our shores, and first taught 
the ancient Britons how to prepare it. For obstinate hiccough 
a teacupful of boiling water should be poured on a teaspoonful 
of Mustard flour, and taken as promptly as may be, half at first, 
and the other half in ten minutes, if still needed. When an 
emetic is required for speedy effect, if a tablespoonful of Mustard 
flour has poured on it a pint of lukewarm water, to be mixed, 
and taken at a draught, this will operate briskly, and surely. 
The volatile oil of Mustard flour contains erucic, and sinapoleic 
acids. A hot Mustard foot-bath serves by the diffusion of this 
oil around the person to prove soporific by inhalation, whilst the 
feet also are beneficially stimulated below. The notion has 
long prevailed that for preserving one's memory even to an 
advanced age, nothing is better than Mustard. 

Messrs. Keen & Co., the oldest London firm of the Mustard trade, 
had their place of business as long ago as 1742 at Garlick Hill, 



378 MEALS MEDICINA L. 

or Hythe, the harbour to which garlic, and other such seasonings 
were brought. Hard by was the church of St. James, who was 
often represented as a Pilgrim, and whose device in that, capacity, 
a scallop-shell, appears above the church porch. Hence the 
adoption of this scallop-shell as a trade-mark of the Keen firm. 
Actual scallop-shells, or metallic imitations of them, were 
formerly used as scoops by retail dealers in Mustard and spices ; 
it is even said that some specimens of these articles are still to 
be found in old-fashioned shops kept in out-of-the-way places. 
Mustard flour is an infallible antiseptic, and sterilizing agent, 
besides being a capital deodorizer. Black Mustard seed, when 
bruised, develops a very active pungent principle, with a 
powerful penetrating odour which makes the eyes water ; this 
principle contains sulphur abundantly. Mustard flour being such 
a ready deodorizer, if moistened with a little water into a paste 
has the remarkable property of dispelling the odours of musk, 
camphor, and the foetid gum resins — turpentine, creosote, 
asafetida, and such like. " Mustard — the roguish Mustard, 
dangerous to the nose " — as John Swan has taught in Specidum 
Mundi (1643) " is marvellous good for the voice of she who 
would sing clear ; but it hath, moreover, another good propertie 
which must not be^ forgotten : — 

" She that hath hap a husband had to burie. 
And is therefore in heart no sad but merrie : 
Yet if in shew good manners she would keep, 
Onypns and mustard seed will make her weep." 

" Flamingoes, and Mustard both bite," said the Duchess (Alice 
in Wonderland), and the moral is, " Birds of a feather flock 
together." " Only, Mustard isn't a bird," Ahce remarked ; 
" it's a mineral, I think," said Alice. " Of course it is," said the 
Duchess ; " there's a large Mustard mine near here, and the 
moral of it is ' the more there is of mine, the less there is of 
yours.' " Although Mustard at table invariably flanks the 
" roast beef of old England " which gives national strength, 
and sinew, yet according to a familiar nursery rhyme it is 
credited with opposite effects by children, who taunt a craven 
playmate as : — 

" Cowardy, oowardy custard. 
Who ate his mother's mustard." 

The white Mustard is best known to us as produced for its young 



ME/iBS. 379 



leaves to be eaten in the combination of Mustard and Cress 
with a salad, or with bread and butter. This plant, which grows, 
when uncultivated, on waste ground with large yellow flowers, 
does not afford under any conditions a pungent oil like the black 
Mustard. " When in the leaf," John Evelyn tells in his Acetaria, 
" Mustard in young seedling plants is of incomparable effect 
to quicken, and revive the spirits, strengthening the memory, 
expelling heaviness, preventing the vertiginous palsy, and a 
laudable cephalic, besides being an approved anti-scorbutic." 
The active principle of this white Mustard is sinapin, and the 
seed germinates so rapidly that it has been said a salad of the 
herb may be grown therefrom whilst the joint of meat is being 
roasted for dinner. When swallowed whole in teaspoonful doses 
three or four times a day the seeds will exercise mechanically 
a laxative effect, being voided from the lower bowel without 
undergoing any perceptible change except that their outer skin 
has become a little softened, and mucilaginous. For a relaxed 
sore throat a gargle of bruised Mustard-seed tea proves serviceable. 
Chemically the Nettle (Urtica dioica, and urens), of familiar 
acquaintance all over the country, is so constituted as to provide 
a food available for helping to obviate several bodily ailments, 
and infirmities. It contains formic acid, mucilage, mineral 
salts, ammonia, carbonic acid, and water. A strong infusion 
of the fresh leaves is soothing, and healing as a lotion for burns ; 
the dried leaves, when burnt so as to give off their fumes to be 
inhaled, will relieve bronchial, and asthmatic troubles, ten grains, 
or more, being thus employed at a time. As far back as in the 
year 1400 an entry was made in the churchwarden's account 
at St. Michael's, Bath, " fro urlicis venditis ad Laurencium." 
In 1890 a West End vegetable dealer in London recognized 
the wholesome, and nutritious properties of young Nettle tops 
when cooked for the table, and he arranged for a regular 
supply of the same on finding that a ready sale existed for 
these wares. If Nettle tops are taken as a fresh young 
vegetable in the spring, and early summer, they make a very 
salutary, and succulent dish of greens, which is slightly laxa- 
tive ; but during autumn they are hurtful. The true Stinging 
Nettle, with a round, hairy stalk, and which bears only a dull, 
colourless bloom, must be secured, and not a labiate Nettle with 
a square stem. The stinging effect of the true Nettle is caused 
by an acrid secretion contained in niinute vesicles at the base 



380 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

of each of the stiff hairs ; and urtication, or flogging with Nettles, 
is an old external remedy which has been long practised for 
chronic rheumatism, and loss of muscular power. A tea made 
from young Nettle topsis a Devonshire cure for nettlerash. But 
such a decoction, when brewed too strong, and drunk too freely, 
has produced a severe burning over the whole body, with general 
redness of the skin, and a sense of being stung ; the features 
became swollen, and minute vesicles broke out, which presently 
burst, and discharged a limpid fluid. Again, Nettle tea wUl 
promote the extrication from the body of gouty gravel through 
the kidneys ; and fresh Nettle-juice, given in doses of from one 
to two tablespoonfuls, is a most serviceable remedy for losses 
of blood, whether from the nose, the lungs, or some other internal 
organ. If a leaf of the herb be put upon the tongue, and pressed 
against the roof of the mouth, it will stop a bleeding from the 
nose. 

For a bee-sting the immediate application of a Dock leaf 
rubbed-in is a familiar, and popular remedy, as antidotal 
to the formic acid of the bee venom. It is the same formic 
acid which causes smarting, and swelling from being stung 
by Nettles, with their lance-like leaves having at the base 
of each lance a diminutive sac which ejects a tiny drop of the 
formic acid into the wound inflicted. Such formic acid is, 
nevertheless, necessary to the well-being of our blood ; it is 
found in the muscles of all flesh, and is believed to be an antidote 
against the uric acid of rheumatism, insomuch that to be stung 
purposely by bees is commended for uric acid rheumatic patients. 
Nettle-stinging will answer equally well on the same principle, 
whether by external application, or by eating young Nettles 
(of the stinging species) cooked in their own juices, or with only 
a lettuce leaf added for moisture. The cottage wife makes 
Nettle-beer, and considers it a cure for the gouty old folk : she 
does not know why, but only makes use of the knowledge handed 
■down to her by past experience from her predecessors. It is 
the formic acid in the Nettle, with the phosphates, and the trace 
of iron, which constitute it such a valuable medicinal food. 

A crystallized alkaloid (which is fatal to frogs in a dose of 
one centigramme) has been isolated from the common Stinging 
Nettle. If planted in the neighbourhood of beehives the Nettle 
will serve to drive away frogs. In Italy, where herb soups are 
much in favour, the "herb knodel" of Nettles made into round 



HERBS. 381 



balls like dumplings, are esteemed as nourishing, and purifying. 
When plainly boiled the young Nettle-tops closely resemble- 
spinach. A good melted butter as a sauce improves them, 
mightily ; or cottagers compound an excellent white sauce lor 
the purpose by melting a good-sized lump of lard in a basin, then 
rubbing in as much flour as the liquid will take up, making it 
quite free from lumps, and filling up the basin with boiling water ;, 
afterwards adding salt to taste ; the sauce afEords just the suffi- 
ciency of fat which is otherwise lacking. The Nettle is one of the 
very best anti-scorbutics. Macaulay, who hated Brougham, wrote 
concerning him : " His powers are gone, like a dead Nettle : his 
spite is immortal." Nettle leaves, as already said, when dried, and 
powdered, wUl sometimes relieve asthma, and similar bronchial 
troubles, by inhalation, whilst other measures fail ; eight, or ten 
grains should be made to smoulder, and their fumes inspired when 
spasmodic difficulty of breathing comes on, or at bedtime. For 
Nettle-beer any adequate amount of young, green Stinging 
Nettles are to be boiled up in a gallon of water, with the juice 
of two lemons for giving a sharp flavour, and a teaspoonful of 
crushed ginger, whilst for sweetening purposes a pound of brown 
sugar is mixed in. Then some fresh yeast from the brewer is 
to be floated on toast in the liquor when cold, so as to ferment it ; 
and it may be afterwards bottled as a specially wholesome sort 
of gingur-beer. Young Nettles of the stinging species, when 
mashed, and finely pulped, being then mixed with an equal bulk 
of thick cream, pepper, and salt added to taste, make a, 
valuable food for a consumptive patient. Pepys records it 
thus (February 25th, 1660) : " To Mrs. Symons, and there we 
did eat some Nettle porridge, which was made on purpose 
to-day, and was very good." 

Garden Parsley was not cultivated in England until during 
Edward the Sixth's reign (1548). We use it rather as a garnish, 
and for stuffing, together with other herbs, than for any 
medicinal purposes. Nevertheless, it possesses, in root, and 
branch, potential virtues for the sick, and ailing ; though in 
the present day a Parsley bed is associated rather with those 
who come into the world, than with those who would guard 
themselves against leaving it. Proverbially this herb patch 
in the garden is held out as the fertile source of new-born brothers, 
and sisters, when appearing (unexpectedly by the other youngsters) 
suddenly within the limits of the family circle. In Germany- 



382 MEALS MEDICINAL. 



babies are " brought by the stork." The Parsley root is faintly 
aromatic, and has a sweetish taste. It contains a chemical 
principle " apiin," with sugar, starch, and an aromatic volatile 
oil. Likewise the fruit furnishes the same volatile oil in larger 
abundance, this oil comprising parsley-camphor, and " apiol " 
'{the true essential oil of Parsley). Such " apiol " is dispensed 
by our druggists, and is of singular use for correcting female 
irregularities of periodical function. Country folk in many 
places think it unlucky to sow Parsley, or to move its roots ; 
and a rustic adage puts it that " Fried Parsley brings a man to 
his saddle, and a woman to her grave." The bruised leaves 
when applied externally, will serve to soften breasts which are 
hard in early lactation, and to resolve them whilst nursing when 
knotty, and painful, with threatened abscess. Likewise the 
bruised leaves have successfully dispelled tumours suspected 
tojbe cancerous, when more orthodox remedies had failed. It is 
quite certain that the dispersion, or healing of cancerous growths, 
and tumours, have followed administration of this, and other 
herbal medicaments, even in advanced cases of an undeniably 
maUgnant character : such remedies to wit as Celandine, Clover, 
Comfrey, Cinnamon, and Violets. If cause and effect are at 
work in such cases, it is possible that some occult common 
principle underlies, and runs through them all, which has yet 
to be discovered. Though used so commonly at table, yet 
Parsley is proved by indisputable facts to have induced epilepsy 
in certain bodily systems when eaten to excess, particularly whilst 
uncooked. Alston says : " I have observed, after raw Parsley 
lias been eaten freely, a fulness of the blood-vessels about the 
head, and an inflamed state of the eyes, with congestion of the 
face, as if the criivat were too tight." The name was formerly 
spelt " Percely," and the adjective title " petroselinum " 
signifies growing on a rock. In Prance a rustic application to 
scrofulous swellings is successfully used, which consists of green 
Parsley, and snails, pounded together in a mortar to the thickness 
of an ointment, some of which is spread on linen, and applied 
liberally every day. Parsley tea exercises a decided action 
on the lining membrane of the urinary passages, and may be 
given helpfully when this is sore, or inflamed. The essential 
oil of Parsley -has proved beneficial against epilepsy in certain 
subjects. 
The excellence of Parsley-sauce — useful as a medicament — 



HERBS. 3S3 

always depends on chopping the fresh green leaves very small. 
Take a handful of fresh Parsley, wash it, bruise the stalks, and 
boil them with the leaves for ten minutes in only a little water ; 
then chop them small, first picking out the tough woody pieces ; 
put them into a sauce boat, with some of the liquor in which 
they were boiled, and pour well-made white sauce (not rich 
with melted butter) over them. When " Aux fines herbes " 
is directed in cookery. Parsley is practically intended, though 
a mixture of tarragon. Parsley, chervil, shalots, chives, basil, and 
mushrooms, chopped, and sweated in fat, may be signified as well. 

" One morning in the garden bed 
The onion and the carrot said 
Unto the parsley group : 
' Oh, when shall we three meet again. 
In thunder, lightning, hail, or rain ? ' 
Alas ! ' replied, in tones of pain 
The parsley, ' in the soup.' " 

Botanically, all the Parsleys show themselves singularly wise 
in their generation ; having many single, diminutive, insignificant- 
looking flowers (which furnish the nectar), they agree to unite 
these in one important-seeming umbel. Nevertheless, none 
but small fry, such as gnats, thrips, ants, and flies can effect 
entrance so as to possess themselves of the honey in the tiny 
florets ; and thus it is that the whole umbel by way of attractive- 
ness simply for such insects, displays only neutral work-a-day 
tints warranted to wear well, and to wash until thread-bare, 
instead of the brilliant blues, the warm reds, and the gay golden 
yellows, of those richly-decorated coroUse which serve to allure 
painted butterflies, and lepidopterous lordlings. 

A good old custom of former times was to burn Rosemary 
(which is still cultivated in our kitchen gardens as a sweet- 
scented, fragrant herb) in the chambers of the sick, because of 
its supposed preservative powers against pestilential disorders. 
For the same reason a sprig of Rosemary was carried in the hand 
at a funeral. It was believed that smelling at the sprig afforded 
a potent defence against any morbid effluvia from the corpse. 
The shrub (Rosmarinus) has a pleasant scent, and a bitter, 
pungent taste, because of an essential volatile oil chiefly present 
in the leaves, and tops. Other fragrant active principles reside 
in the flowers. The name is derived from ros, dew, marinus, 
of the sea, in allusion to the grey, glistening appearance of the 
herb, and its natural locality near the sea, with an odour thereof. 



384 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

It is ever green, and bears small pale-blue blossoms. " The 
flowers of Rosemary," says an old author, " made up into plates 
(lozenges, or tablets), with sugar, and eaten, comfort the heart, 
and make it merry, quicken the spirits, and cause them to be 
lively." Rosemary tea will soon relieve nervous depression ; 
some persons drink it for breakfast as a restorative. In the 
French language of flowers this herb represents the power of 
re-kindling lost energy. Rosemary wine taken in small quantities 
acts as a quieting cordial to a heart of which the action is 
irregular, and palpitating ; it will further serve to dispel any 
accompanying dropsy by stimulating the kidneys. This wine 
may be made by chopping up sprigs of green Rosemary, and 
pouring on them some sound white wine, which after three or 
four days may be strained off, and put into use. The green- 
leaved variety is the kind to be used medicinally ; there are also 
silver, and golden-leaved sorts. Sprigs of the shrub were 
formerly stuck into beef whilst being roasted, as an excellent 
relish. A writer (1707) tells of " Rosemary -preserve to dress 
your beef." In early times the Rosemary was freely cultivated 
in kitchen gardens, and it came to represent the dominant 
influence of the house-mistress. 

C " Where Rosemary flourished the woman ruled." 

A spirit made from the essential oil with spirit of wine will help 
to renew the vitality of paralysed limbs if rubbed in with brisk 
friction. The volatile oil includes a special camphor similar 
to that possessed by the myrtle. An ounce of the dried leaves 
and flowers, when treated with a pint of boiling water, and 
allowed to stand until cool, makes one of the best hair- 
washes known. It should be mixed with honey-water (as 
distilled from honey incorporated with sand), the same being 
likewise of itself excellent for promoting growth of the 
hair. Incidentally with respect to the present fashion adopted 
by young men of shaving close as to whiskers, and beard, 
(so as to retain, it may be supposed, a juvenile look), 
the suggestive letter (xxxii) of Selborne in his well-known 
Natural History may be profitably quoted : " It is plain 
that the deprivation of raasfruline vigour puts a stop to 
the growiih of those hirsute appendages which are looked upon 
as its insignia ; thus eunuchs have beardless chins, smooth limbs, 
and squeaking voices. But (as the ingenious Mr. Lisle testifies) 



HERBS. 385 

the loss of such insignia of manliness as the facial hair, and its 
accompaniments, has sometimes a strange effect on the masculine 
abilities ; thus he had a boar which was so fierce and venereous, 
that to prevent mischief orders were given for his tusks to be 
broken ofi. No sooner had the beast suffered this injury than 
his powers forsook him, and he neglected those females to whom 
before he was passionately attached, and from whom no fences 
woald restrain him." This was a forecast of Darwin's more 
recent substantiated facts. 

The famous " Hungary water " for outward application, 
was first invented for a Queen of Hungary, who by its continued 
use became completely cured of paralysis ; it was prepared by 
putting one and a half pounds of the fresh tops of Rosemary 
when in full flower into a gallon of spirit of wine, which had to 
stand for four days, and was then distilled. Hoyes tells that 
the formula for composing this noted " water," as written by 
Queen EHzabeth's own hand, is still preserved in the Imperial 
Library at Vienna. It was further esteemed for doing much 
good against gout when occurring in the hands, and feet, by 
being rubbed into the affected limbs with some brisk friction. 
In the French hospitals it is customary to burn Rosemary 
together with juniper berries, for purifying the air, and preventing 
infection. This plant contains also some tannin, together with 
a resin, and a bitter principle. By old writers it was said to 
increase the flow of breast-milk ; the herb is used in preparing 
Eau de Cologne. In olden days sprigs of the shrub were 
put with a corpse into the coffin, and others were thrown 
into the grave " for remembrance." Most probably an 
instinctive knowledge had even then been acquired of the 
anti-putrescent virtues of this herb, as well as of its protective 
aromatic powers against infection. Mrs. Gaskell, in Sylvia's 
Lovers, has told of the same custom when describing a rustic 
burial : " Some sign of mourning was shown by everyone, down 
to the little child in its mother's arms that innocently clutched 
the piece of Rosemary to be thrown into the grave ' for remem- 
brance.' " The poet Gay also alludes to the same practice when 
describing the burial of a country lass who had come to an 
untimely end : — 

" To show their love the neighbours far and near 
Followed, with wistful looks, the damsel's bier : 
Sprigged Rosemary the lads and lasses bore, 
While dismally the parson walked before : 
Upon her grave the Rosemary they threw. 
The Daisy, Butterflower, and Endive blue." 25 



3S6 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

It was dear old blind Margaret in Charles Lamb's first story 
{Rosamund Gray, 1798) who had among her half-dozen cottage 
volumes " a cookery book, with a few dry sprigs of Rosemary, 
and Lavender, stuck here and there between the leaves (I suppose 
to point to some of the old lady's favourite receipts)." In a 
well-known song which the spirited rendering of Santley has 
immortalized, — " Simon the Cellarer " — it is quaintly, and 
picturesquely told : — 

" Dame Margery sits in her own still room. 

And a matron sage is she : 
From thence oft at curfew is wafted a fume : 

She says it is ' Rosemarie ' ! 
But there's a small cupboard behind the back stair. 

And the maids say they often see Margery there. 
Now Margery says that she grows very old. 

And must take a something to keep out the cold : 
But ho ! ho ! ho ! old Simon doth know 

Where many a flask of his best doth go." 

For stuffing ducks, and geese, to be roasted, the conventional 
blend is of Sage, and onions ; as regards the former of which 
this garden herb Sage contains an active principle which resists 
animal putrescence. Furthermore, the said principle, " salviol," 
together with the bitterness, and condimentary pungency of the 
Sage leaves, enables the stomach to better digest rich, luscious 
meats, and gravies. Our well-known Sage, which is plentiful 
in every kitchen garden, is aromatic, and fragrant, by reason 
of its volatile, camphoraceous essential oil. The botanical name 
Salvia is derived from a Latin verb salvere, to be sound in health. 
" Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia crescit in horto ? " saith an old 
monkish line — " Why should a man die as long as Sage grows 
in his garden ? " There is no better way of taking Sage as a 
stomachic wholesome herb, than by eating it with bread and 
butter. " This herb," says Gerarde, " is singular good for the 
head, and brain : it quickeneth the senses, and memory ; 
strengtheneth the sinews, restoreth health to those that hath 
the palsy, and takes away shaky trembling of the members." 
John Swan, in Speculum Mundi (1643), writes : " Sage also take, 
for it hath many virtues, and a great desire to make a man 
immortall." 

" Sage makes the sinews strong, the palsie cures ; 
And by its help no ague long endures." 

" A little vinegar sprinkled upon its leaves lying upon coals, 



HERBS. 387 



and so wrapped in a linnen, and holden very hot unto the side 
of those that are troubled with a grievous pain, taketh away the 
pain presently, and also greatly helpeth the extremitie of a 
pleurisie." In pulmonary consumption, and for hectic feverish 
wasting diseases, "an infusion of the garden herb Sage is much to 
be commended, as well as for excessive perspiration of the feet, 
with fetid odours from the sodden skin." Steep a teaspoonful 
of dried Sage leaves in half a pint of water for twenty-four hours 
and strain : then let the patient take a teacupful in the morn- 
ing, one during the day, and another at night : or a spirit of 
the fresh bruised leaves may be given, a teaspoonful with water 
two or three times a day. A strong infusion of the herb has 
been used with success to dry up the breast- milk for wean- 
ing an infant : and as a gargle, sage-leaf tea, with some honey, 
answers admirably. Rue should be planted with the Sage : 

" Salvia cum RutS. faciunt tibi poeula tuta." 

The Chinese are as fond of Sage as we are of their fragrant 
teas ; and the Dutch once carried on a profitable trade 
with them by exchanging a pound of Sage leaves for each 
three-pound parcel of tea. Dr. Hart (1633), exclaiming against 
the use of tobacco by weakly persons, and invalids, has said : 
" Why may not garden Sage as safely, and without any seeming 
show of danger, be used instead ? It is by all our physicians 
accorded, and agreed-upon that this doth apparently corroborate, 
and strengthen the nerves, and by consequent all the animal 
powers, beside the excellent virtues thereof recorded, the like 
whereof were never ascribed to tobacco." Sage bread is dough 
mixed with a strong infusion of the Sage plant (first bruised) 
in milk. Boyle has reported (1668) : " I have known Sage 
bread to do much good in drying up humours." For making 
" Sage tea," " take of fresh leaves of green Sage, plucked from 
the stalks, and washed clean in cold water, half an ounce ; of 
sugar, one ounce ; of the outer rind of lemon-peel finely pared 
from the white, a quarter of an ounce. Put these into two pints 
of boiling water, and let them stand near the fire for half an hour, 
then strain." When dried Sage leaves are used, rather less in 
quantity than directed for the fresh leaves should be employed. 
Such a tea (as likewise of Rosemary, Balm, or Southern-wood) 
will serve to prevent a thirsty, fevered patient from desiring to 
drink too much tea, or cofEee when not good for him ; it also 



388 MEALS MEDICINAL. 

acts as an antiseptic. Moreover, Gerarde declares : "A conserve 
of floures of Clove Gillofloure (Carnation), and Sage, is exceeding 
cordial, and doth wonderfully above measure comfort the heart, 
being eaten now and then with the meate." 

Closely allied to the garden Khubarb (a dock), from the 
brilliant red leaf-stems of which we make favourite puddings, 
and pies, is the garden Sorrel {Rumex aoetosus), also a dock, 
and the c